Thunderstorms and heavy rain are set to lash the east coast of Australia over the weekend, adding an unforeseen element to the AFL’s first twilight grand final.
The first-ever AFL grand final to be played outside of Melbourne, Saturday night’s clash between Richmond and Geelong will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.
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While the mercury hit just 14.9C in Melbourne for last year’s decider between Richmond and GWS, it will be a much different story this year.
The forecast for Brisbane on Saturday is 29C with potential thunderstorms, meaning the weather could wreak havoc on the grand final.
Laura Boekel of the Bureau of Meteorology said the dew point will be a crucial factor in deciding the match.
“The AFL world is abuzz about the Gabba dew points making it slippery for players to handle the Sherrin, but it is the mix of heat and moisture that comes with elevated readings that can also quickly fatigue teams, especially ones such as the Tigers and Cats that come from the relatively temperate conditions of Victoria,” Ms Boekel said, according to news.com.
“Brisbane tends to see a dew point of about 14.5 in October at 6pm and most people tend to feel comfortable in these conditions.
“Elite athletes running around in warmer and more humid conditions than they are used to could start feeling the physiological effects more than the spectators sitting at the ground.
“These effects will become more pronounced as the dew point rises and the risk of player fatigue becomes a greater risk.”
Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke told Yahoo News Australia a slow-moving low pressure trough could bring days of rain and thunderstorms in areas including and around Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.
“Some locations could get thunderstorms for three or four days in a row,” Mr Dutschke said.
“We could see multiple severe thunderstorm warnings issued along with flood watches.
“We expect to see dozens of warnings related to this system.”
Mr Dutschke said the system is “unusual” for this time of year.
“It’s more typical of a system we see later in the year. October is generally wetter than September but this is a bit earlier than normal to get widespread rain and thunder,” he said.
“It’s also a slow-moving system giving it more time to absorb moisture.”
Jonathan Gow of the Bureau of Meteorology called it a “multi-state thunderstorm outbreak”.
Mr Gow said Friday is shaping to be the “peak day” across eastern Australia.
“We’ll see widespread storms – likely severe for some parts,” he said.
“It is shaping up to be a stormy and wet weekend for eastern parts of Queensland and NSW including Brisbane and Sydney.”
Simon Black’s shock tip for AFL grand final
Meanwhile, AFL legend Simon Black says Richmond boast levels of strategy and teamwork that are unrivalled by any other great unit of the modern era, as the Tigers seek to write their own triple-premiership dynasty into the history books.
But in a twist, the former Brisbane Lions champion believes a red-hot Geelong will defeat Damien Hardwick's men in Saturday's grand final.
“I've shifted from Richmond to Geelong,” Black told AAP.
“We know Richmond are very clinical, but (I was impressed by) the way Geelong attacked the Lions' game plan last week and offensively they work so well.
“Their best football this year has probably been the best and I think the last two weeks they've shown they're pretty close to it.
“They almost look a bit fresher than Richmond.
“I could be wrong, but my feeling is that Geelong will win.”
with AAP and Yahoo News Australia
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