Bendigo, central Victoria set for heavy rain as summer approaches

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UPDATE, Thursday 7.55am: The Bureau of Meteorology has this morning renewed a severe weather warning for the entire state.

Heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms, which may lead to flash flooding, are likely to develop in the far west of the state tonight before moving across the rest of the state tomorrow morning.

The heavy rain and thunderstorm activity will continue into Saturday.

Three-day totals of around 60 to 120 millimetres are expected south of the divide and over the far northwest, with totals of 100 to 200 millimetres for areas on and north of the divide, including Bendigo.

Tomorrow and Saturday, BOM has forecast a near-100 per cent chance of rain in Bendigo, with between 25 and 70 millimetres expected each day.

A thunderstorm is likely tomorrow and there is a chance of more storms on Saturday.

Similar conditions are forecast across the rest of the region.

Catchments likely to be affected by flooding include the Loddon and Campaspe river catchments.

The next warning will be issued by 11am.

UPDATE, Wednesday 4.30pm: Bendigo SES deputy controller Natalie Stanway said residents should prepare their properties before the rain hits.

“If you feel your property will be threatened, have sandbags ready to go, prepare a home emergency kit and do things like unplugging electrical items,” she said.

“If that volume of rain comes down with blocked gutters, water can come into ceilings, so it is well worth (clearing gutters) and checking down pipes before the rain starts.

Sandbagging guide from the Bendigo SES

Sandbagging guide from the Bendigo SES

“You should also cut back overhanging trees, so there is less pathway for water to get to gutters.”

Ms Stanway said if a large amount of rain falls in a short space of time, people should be prepared to take steps to protect their property.

“If like last Sunday, we received something like 37 calls in a short space of time, it is not possible for us to get to everybody,” she said.

“So people need to prepare to take steps themselves.

“If you need help call us but if we get that huge number of calls in a short space of time there is no physical way our units can attend to everyone. It is simply not possible.”

Ms Stanway said if people plan to sandbag their homes, they should contact their local hardware store.

“Dirt from your yard is perfectly OK. Bags should be two-thirds full and be laid in a pattern and your home’s entry points,” she said.

UPDATE, Wednesday 4.15pm: At 3.38pm today, BOM sent out a statewide weather warning saying heavy rains and storms will hit Victoria from Thursday night.

“Heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms which may lead to flash flooding are likely to develop in the far west during Thursday night before extending across the remaining parts of the State during Friday. The heavy rain and thunderstorm activity will continue on Saturday,” the warning reads.

“Locations which may be affected include Mildura, Horsham, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Shepparton, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne, Wodonga, Wangaratta, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.”

The State Emergency Service advises that people should: 

  • Don't walk, ride or drive through flood water; 
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains; 
  • Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks; 
  • Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads; 

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 11pm AEDT, Wednesday.

UPDATE, Wednesday 3.45pm: The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting between 100 and 200 millimetres of rain over in the Bendigo region over the week.

BOM duty forecaster Richard Russell said heavy rain is set to hit Bendigo over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“The problem will be a slow-moving system from Friday to Sunday. Over the course of three days central and eastern Victoria, north of the divide will receive 100mm to 200mm,” he said.

“It has been caused by a long build up of warm, humid weather combined with a sharp upper-level system over south-east Australia to develop a deepening low.

“It depends on how the storms develop but anywhere east of the Mallee and the Wimmera will get total around that 100 to 200mm amount.”

The eastern highlands including Moutn Bulla and Hotham could received 250mm of rain this weekend.

Mr Russell said south of the divide (including Melbourne would receive between 60 and 120mm of rain.

EARLIER: DAYS OF mid to high 30s temperatures could break with thunderstorms and heavy rain later this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast Bendigo to reach a sunny and sweltering 36 degrees on both Wednesday and Thursday.

But it also predicts a medium chance of showers on Thursday afternoon, followed by a 90 per cent chance of rain and possible storms on Friday.

Read more: Looking back at the 2016 central Victoria floods, in pictures

Temperatures are set to drop to 27 degrees on Friday, and 22 for Saturday and Sunday.

The bureau shows Bendigo is set to receive up to 70mm of rain on both Friday and Saturday.

But the bureau’s computer modelling, which builds the predictions on a synthesis of meteorological factors, has predicted even more rainfall.

The forecast maps show Bendigo could receive up to 100mm of rain on Friday alone, with a further 25-50mm on Saturday.

They also show Echuca could receive up to 100mm on both days.

The bureau cautions that these rainfall forecasts are produced without input from weather forecasters and regular local forecasts from the bureau could differ.

The region has already been hit with storms and rain this week.

Bendigo received 17.8 millimetres from 9am on Sunday to 7am on Monday. In the same time period Redesdale received 25.4 millimetres.

The fast-falling precipitation meant the SES had 37 call-outs to assist residents.

Read more: Hail, storms bring harvest to a halt across central Victoria

Nine calls related to building damage, mostly water leaking through roofs and, in one instance, through windows. There were also 26 flooding jobs, and two for fallen trees.

An SES spokeswoman said some call outs could have been prevented if residents had cleaned their roof gutters in advance.

The story Warning issued for heavy rain, flash flooding | Live radar first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.

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