Brace yourself Sydney… there's more wild weather ahead

Sally Bowrey

Flooding rains, severe storms and near cyclonic winds - there is no doubt Sydney's seeing more and more wild weather.

Now in an Australian first, University of New South Wales scientists have pin-pointed which suburbs will be hardest hit by our changing climate.

The forecast is not looking good, and just how bad depends on where you live.

For the first time, Australian scientists have mapped out the future forecast for Sydney - right up to 2050.


The outlook for Sydney is wet, with a massive jump in flooding rains expected across coastal suburbs.

From Dee Why to Cronulla a 50 percent rise in the amount of rain that falls is being predicted.

“We might go from an extreme rainfall, which would flood low-lying parts of Double Bay, to in the future seeing flash floods occurring in several suburbs across the whole area,” climate scientist Jason Evans told 7News.

The Blue Mountains will also receive double the current annual average rains, but that will fall straight into our water catchments, which act as flood protectors for the western suburbs below.

So why is Sydney seeing more weather extremes?

The report says climate change is one factor, but urban sprawl - with the boom of housing and development - is one of the biggest influences.

Buildings and roads trap daytime heat, increasing temperatures and triggering more evaporation, and more evaporation means more rain - and the western suburbs will not escape either.

Despite already being one of the hottest spots in Sydney, Penrith and new surrounding suburbs are set to see the biggest rise in temperatures.

Soaring by as much as five degrees at night, that means during heatwaves there will be no relief.

Researchers say this could trigger a spike in heat-related deaths and hospital admissions.

"When we have these heatwave events it's likely that most of those admissions will be in the west, so it's the hospitals in the west that will need to be more prepared," climate scientist Jason Evans said.

The figures do not take into account Sydney's full population growth and sprawl of the city.

Researchers say that if they did that the figures could be far worse.

GALLERY: Hundreds of images were posted on social media during the Sydney storms, but there were quite a few fakes that went viral.

"But it's not all doom and gloom, with these issues coming to light, a lot of new thought is going into city planning," Jason Evans said.

The state government says it is looking at ways to offset the impact of Sydney's rapid growth.

"What's critical with this sort of development is that we provide more green spaces so that as we become a bigger city we become a greener and more leafy city at the same time," Planning Minister Rob Stokes told 7News.

It is a race against mother nature to turn things around, before she turns on Sydney again.