States bracing for wild winds, flash flooding
A severe weather warning has been issued for eastern parts of the country, with millions of people being told to brace for a night of wild wind and rain.
A series of cold fronts and low pressure troughs brought showers across southern WA, SA, Victoria and Tasmania on Thursday, spreading north into NSW over the weekend.
Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) senior meteorologist Miriam Bradbury said while widespread showers would move across much of the country’s southeast this weekend, the “wettest weather” is set to hit the southern coast of NSW.
“That will develop from Saturday night so that’s when we’re going to see a trough deepening off the NSW coast and a low pressure system developing,” she said.
“That will go overnight into Sunday.”
The BoM’s current severe weather warning covers the region just north of Nowra stretching towards Batemans Bay, where rainfall totals could reach in excess of 100mm.
“In those local areas we could see the heaviest of the rainfall … the same goes for those strong winds which are most likely to develop overnight and pick up Sunday morning,” Ms Bradbury said.
While such weather is relatively “normal” for this time of year, Ms Bradbury said the storms are still “significant”.
“It’s something people need to be aware of given the rainfall and winds could make driving conditions dangerous,” she said.
“Hopefully no one goes out on the water … there will be pretty rough conditions out there as well.”
The rain is expected to set in on Saturday evening, stretching from south Queensland right down to the east coast.
Flash flooding could occur along the coastline between Nowra and Batemans Bay from late Saturday evening into Sunday morning before easing on Sunday afternoon.
Over the same period strong to damaging winds averaging up to 70km/h, with peak gusts of 90km/h, will lash the region.
There is the possibility of storms around Queensland’s central coast, but lower rainfall totals are expected.
“We could see a bit of shower and storm activity extending up to that part of Queensland’s coast as well, pushing up towards Townsville,” Ms Bradbury said.
“And there is a possibility we could see some thunderstorms developing in those areas on Sunday … but rainfall totals are not expected to be anything too high.”
Some scattered showers will move across southern and eastern Victoria on Saturday with some showers falling across Tasmania.
“Victoria and Tasmania will be avoiding the most severe impact there,” Ms Bradbury said.
“It’s broadly dry across other parts of the country this weekend, with fire warnings in place for parts of the Pilbara.”
The grim weather soaking NSW’s coast comes after Sydney broke a century-old weather record this week, recording 184 consecutive days above 20 degrees.
This smashed the city’s previous record of 180 days set in 1914.