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World Rains are finally arriving in fire-ravaged Australia, but they bring new risks

20:50  14 january  2020
20:50  14 january  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Rain brings brief respite in Australian bushfire crisis

  Rain brings brief respite in Australian bushfire crisis A second day of light rain brought relief for firefighters battling bushfires that have killed 24 people across southeastern Australia, but hot, windy conditions are expected to return later in the week, officials warned on Monday. © Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images WINGELLO, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 06: A resident throws a bucket of water onto a smoldering tree on his property on January 06, 2020 in Wingello, Australia. Cooler conditions and light rain has provided some relief for firefighters in NSW who continue to battle bushfires across the state.

Rain has fallen in fire - ravaged parts of Australia and temperatures have dropped - but officials have warned that blazes will "take off" again. They also said huge fires in Victoria and NSW could meet to create a larger "mega blaze". "There is no room for complacency," NSW state Premier Gladys

fire ravaged parts of northern New South Wales.[24] The political ramifications of the fire season have been significant. A decision by the New South Wales Former Australian fire services chiefs in April 2019 warned that Australia was not prepared for the upcoming fire season. They called on the next

A major weather pattern shift is coming to some of the bush fire zones of Australia, where a relentless, multiyear drought and record-shattering heat turned the landscape into a tinderbox this spring and summer.

a close up of a map: A 5-day total rainfall projection from the European model, showing the heavy rains taking aim at southeastern Australia. (StormVistaWxModels) A 5-day total rainfall projection from the European model, showing the heavy rains taking aim at southeastern Australia. (StormVistaWxModels)

The rains are not expected to extinguish all the flames, nor will they end the drought, but they are sure to bring relief for the thousands of firefighters seeking to contain the blazes, which still number more than 100 in New South Wales alone.

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Australia fires latest: Rain and hail pelt fire-ravaged states, bringing new risks -- and potential relief

  Australia fires latest: Rain and hail pelt fire-ravaged states, bringing new risks -- and potential relief Severe thunderstorms are pelting some regions of Australia suffering from historic wildfires with powerful rain, bringing much-needed relief to firefighters battling some of the worst blazes the country has seen in decades. "Our fingers are crossed that this continues over the coming days," the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said Friday in a tweet. Rain has fallen on most firegrounds in the state over the last 24 hours, the RFS said. However, it wasn't enough to put out the flames. Eighty-two fires are still burning, including 30 that are yet to be contained.

Australia 's PM Scott Morrison had to cut short a visit to a town ravaged by fire after angry locals heckled him over the government's response. The country regularly sees fires but they are usually centred on bushland while the current blazes are striking forests, which burn hotter and higher so are

New Year's Eve saw residents of coastal communities forced to take to the water to avoid being engulfed in flames. Close to half a billion animals are believed to have been lost in the blaze, according to ecologists from the University of Sydney. The koala population has been especially devastated due

The rainfall, though, will also unleash new hazards, since the newly burned regions will be prone to flooding and landslides that could further damage forest ecosystems. This could be worsened by the slow-moving nature of some of the heaviest showers and thunderstorms, according to Sarah Scully, a meteorologist at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

While rainfall will be variable given the episodic nature of the showers and thunderstorms, fueled by a frontal zone setting up across eastern Australia, drawing in moist, humid air from the ocean to the southeast, the BOM is predicting between 1.2 to 3 inches during the next several days across a large area, stretching from Victoria northward into New South Wales and Queensland.

California firefighters are heading to Australia to battle deadly brushfires on the ground

  California firefighters are heading to Australia to battle deadly brushfires on the ground Twenty veteran California firefighters are heading to Australia as the first US ground crew to battle out-of-control wildfires that have killed at least 23 people. © US Forest Service Crew members from the Angeles National Forest will offer on-the-ground support. The Angeles National Forest crew will deploy from Los Angeles on Monday, the US Forest Service reports. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

But much of Australia is also suffering from a record drought and scientists say climate change has worsened the conditions, making it easier for fires to grow. Holidaymakers should be swimming and hiking today, but they 're checking into evacuation centres or planning escape routes.

The leader of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, says "catastrophic" fire conditions have almost completely razed one Australian community. Rain is forecast in some fire -struck parts of NSW on Tuesday and Wednesday - but another period of dangerously hot weather is expected next week.

However, some areas could see considerably more rain than this, leading to a weather whiplash between heat, drought and flames to flooding.

a path with trees on the side of a dirt field: In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by Siobhan Threlfall, a fire approaches the village of Nerrigundah, Australia. (AP Photo/Siobhan Threlfall)© Siobhan Threlfall/AP In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by Siobhan Threlfall, a fire approaches the village of Nerrigundah, Australia. (AP Photo/Siobhan Threlfall)

Other regions could see lighter rains, including southern Victoria and South Australia, where bush fire danger remains high.

Computer models show the heaviest rain may fall in thunderstorms close to the coast, which could keep the highest totals away from areas where large fires are still burning. However, some relief appears likely across a large area. The rains will be heaviest on Wednesday in Victoria and New South Wales, and will then spread further northward through late week, Scully said in an online video.

“Hopefully some of this heavy rainfall will fall over the fire sites, and help control or even extinguish some of those fires. But it’s a bit of a double-edged sword, as heavy rainfall and gusty winds bring the potential for flash flooding, particularly in the burnt out areas of New South Wales and Victoria,” Scully said.

Intense ‘firestorms’ forming from Australia’s deadly wildfires

  Intense ‘firestorms’ forming from Australia’s deadly wildfires Apocalyptic in appearance, thunderstorms generated by wildfires generate lightning and produce winds that can carry dangerous embers for miles.On December 30, 2019, wildfires raged under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia. Thousands of tourists fled Australia's wildfire-ravaged eastern coast ahead of worsening conditions.

Dont Forget To Subscribe 👌 Rain has fallen in fire - ravaged parts of Australia and temperatures have dropped - but officials have warned that blazes will

Another Forest Fires Management worker died on duty on 3 January and two men were killed in fires at East Gippsland on New Year’s Day.

She added that these areas are vulnerable to “landslips” and trees coming down due to sudden downpours. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, officials are working to protect Sydney’s water supply against any mud or ash flows that could overwhelm reservoirs and other water systems.

However, the coming rainfall will not be enough to end the drought, bring an end to the fire season or even extinguish more than a few of the blazes, given the massive extent of many of the ongoing fires. One so-called “megafire,” for example, has measured at least 1.5 million acres alone.

The scale and scope of the bush fires is staggering. In New South Wales, the fires have destroyed more than 2,000 homes. Smoke from the fires, lofted to the stratosphere by towering fire-induced thunderstorms, is now circumnavigating the globe and the firestorms have wiped out unique natural ecosystems, including species already on the brink of extinction, that may be irreplaceable.

A weather pattern more conducive to bush fires could reemerge in the coming weeks, considering that Australia has seen some of its worst historical fires in January and February. However, some of the large-scale patterns that favored hot and dry conditions in Australia this spring and summer, such as an atmosphere-ocean cycle known as the Indian Ocean Dipole, have returned to a more neutral position.

However, other factors at work, including climate change, are still raising the odds of a hotter and drier rest of the Australian summer season.

Australia PM regrets handling of bushfire crisis .
Scott Morrison responds to criticism over the bushfires, proposing an inquiry into the crisis.The PM has faced mounting criticism over his government's response to the bushfires and its climate policy.

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