A very serious weather event is developing on Australia’s east coast.
In December and January it was extreme fires, in February it’s floods.
Forecasters are concerned about significant flooding in New South Wales, including life the eating flash flooding, wind gusts and landslides in alpine regions.
A trough lying along central and northern parts of the New South Wales coast is bringing persistent rain and windy conditions to many areas. This trough is expected to deepen and gradually extend into the southern coast later today and Sunday. With impacts then moving further south into Monday.
“We haven’t seen anything like this since the late 1990’s,” Forecaster Jane Golding said today.
“The multi-day rainfall from this event looks like much more than we had in the June 2016 east coast low which was last significant east coast low and potentially we haven’t seen anything like this since the late 1990’s,” she said in a statement.
HEAVY RAIN, which will likely cause FLASH FLOODING and RIVERINE FLOODING, is forecast for parts of the Mid North Coast, Hunter, Sydney Metropolitan, Illawarra and eastern parts of the Central Tablelands (including the Blue Mountains) forecast districts today and Sunday.
There is potential for very heavy (torrential) rainfall and life-threatening flash-flooding in the Central Coast, Hunter, Sydney Metropolitan, Illawarra and eastern parts of the Central Tablelands (including the Blue Mountains) districts, particularly overnight tonight.
The location of the heaviest rain will be determined by the movement and strength of the coastal trough, and the development of any transient low pressure circulations embedded within it. In addition slow moving thunderstorms will create possible areas of intense rainfall.
DAMAGING WIND GUSTS, in excess of 90 km/h, are possible along the coastal fringe between Ulladulla and Forster later today and Sunday.
ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES are forecast this morning, and the sea water level may exceed the highest tide of the year.
DAMAGING SURF CONDITIONS, with waves exceeding 5 metres in the surf zone, are forecast to develop tonight or Sunday, and may produce significant beach erosion in areas exposed to the east.
A Flood Watch and a number of Flood Warnings have also been issued for this event.
Locations which may be affected include Byron bay, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Katoomba, Lithgow, Wollongong, Nowra, Ulladulla, Eden and Moruya Heads.
Rain Event Totals within the 48hrs to 9am Saturday:
Over 300mm has been recorded at stations surrounding Byron Bay
150 to 250mm has been recorded at stations surrounding the Central Coast (Hunter), with most rainfall falling during Friday.
Around 100mm has been recorded at stations surrounding the Sydney Metropolitan.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* Don’t drive, ride or walk through flood water.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
* Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
* After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.
The Sydney News Authors