Melbourne's February spell of dry weather and high temperatures unceremoniously ended with the return of rain to the city towards the end of the month. City residents and visitors had been enjoying the warm weather and therefore were shocked to awake to the sounds and sights of stormy rainfall and all-day flooding. The sudden change in weather conditions caused particular problems during the city's busy peak traffic periods too.
Nightmare Conditions On The Railway Lines
Train operators and passengers suffered severe delays due to the harsh weather conditions. While the majority of the problems related to the impracticalities of passengers boarding and leaving trains due to the wet platforms, there was at least one incident that caused significant panic.
Early in the morning, a person was hit by a train, and although police are investigating the incident, there does not appear to be evidence to suggest foul play. Furthermore, a train also became entangled in some power lines, which had been knocked down by the severe weather conditions. Not only did this cause damage to the train and other power lines over the city, but thousands of passengers were unable to get to their destinations. The local authorities quickly set up some replacement buses to help get people where they needed to go.
Water On Road Is Driving Hell
As well as train commuters, those who were taking the bus or driving to work and school were also caught short by the bad weather. Freeways, roads and even small suburban streets were affected in one way or another. Many of these places experienced delays because of earlier collisions on the roads, while other roads were completely shut down due to dangerous levels of flooding. Although no one can control the weather, nobody likes to be stuck in traffic for longer than they need to, especially in a thunderstorm!
The freak change in weather is a stark reminder to travellers looking to book last minute, which tends to mean cheaper flights anyway, to check the expected and forecasted weather for the dates you are looking to fly out there. By paying attention to the news and weather you can pinpoint a safe time to travel so that you avoid getting caught in a Melbourne style thunderstorm.
The Bureau of Meteorology commented on the weather, saying that the average rainfall for the month of February was 48mm, but as the thunderstorms hit, over 42 mm of rainfall was recorded in the first few days!
Before the month-long thunderstorm conditions began, the last major freak weather was the previous February, where 28mm of rain fell in the space of a few days. Although these conditions are very dangerous for commuters to travel in, too little rainwater is not good for the many plants and flowers. Fortunately, were able to forecast the length of the thunderstorm, and measures were put in place to reduce the damage caused to Melbourne. This allowed train operators and other travel companies to strengthen their services, helping people to get to their final destinations.