Strong winds and severe heat blast Australia

The eastern half of the country suffers power cuts and travel disruption.

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    37,000 people in New South Wales and Victoria suffered powercuts as winds tore down trees and powerlines [Getty]
    37,000 people in New South Wales and Victoria suffered powercuts as winds tore down trees and powerlines [Getty]

    A cold front has swept across Australia bringing a dramatic change in temperature and plenty of electrical activity.

    In Port Lincoln, South Australia, the temperature dropped a staggering 5C in just 3 minutes on Sunday, falling from 32Cto 27C.

    As the temperature dropped, thunderstorms rolled overhead.

    These storms are estimated to have generated an incredible 80,000 lightning strikes in just 24 hours.

    The electrical activity produced an impressive lightning display, but also triggered a number of grass fires and power outages.

    Most of the severe weather was in the northern parts of South Australia, with the coastal regions generally seeing nothing more than the odd shower.

    The front then tracked eastwards through Victoria and into New South Wales, bringing damaging winds to the region.

    At the height of the storm, a 120kph gust was recorded at Mt Boyce, in the Blue Mountains.

    At least 37,000 people were left without power as the winds tore down trees and powerlines, and lightning is being blamed for a fire which destroyed a home in Melbourne.

    The storm brought chaos to commuters on Monday morning, with train passengers experiencing severe delays, and drivers reporting gridlock after the power was lost to a number of traffic lights.

    Ahead of the front, Queensland was sweltering as the temperatures soared.

    Several towns reported their hottest October day on record, but as the temperatures soared thunderstorms developed in southern Queensland.

    These storms brought some relief to the scorching heat, but some of them turned severe, leaving more than 12,000 properties without power.

    Over the next few days, the weather should be far calmer for South Australia and Victoria, but the extreme heat is likely to persist in parts of Queensland.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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