The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting very heavy rain for central parts of the New South Wales coast over the next few days, with dangerous conditions expected to develop. Many places are expected to get their normal monthly rainfall for March in just a couple of days.
In the wake of the hot autumn weather this weekend, meteorologists are now closely watching the development of a coastal trough, which is expected to bring periods of intense rainfall to parts of New South Wales until the end of the week. Intense rainfall is expected to start early tomorrow (local time), prompting a severe weather warning for Newcastle, the Central Coast and Lower Hunter from the Bureau of Meteorology.
The Bureau's NSW State Manager, Ann Farrell, said wet conditions were forecast for areas east of the Great Dividing Range and the rainfall could become severe in some locations between Taree and Wollongong.
"Weather modeling indicates there will be some very heavy bursts of rain and while the specific areas of greatest impact are still uncertain, we expect to see this occurring from early morning on Wednesday, with more to come tomorrow night," Ms. Farrell said. "This could be enough to cause road and riverine flooding, and to create dangerous conditions around stormwater drains, along with slippery roads."
"Our primary areas of concern for tomorrow are the Central Coast, Newcastle and Port Stephens areas. Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Great Lakes are on the periphery of the worst conditions, but they are regions we will be monitoring closely."
The Bureau has issued a Flood Watch for the Central Coast, Newcastle, Lower Hunter and Manning Rivers.
NSW State Emergency Service Commissioner Mark Smethurst has urged residents of affected areas to get ready early and to act safely once the severe weather begins to impact.
"A few simple preparations such as cleaning gutters and downpipes and checking your roof is in good repair can make a big difference in reducing potential damage to your property and reducing calls to our volunteers," Smethurst said. "Once severe weather starts, delay non-essential travel, bring pets indoors, park your car under cover, and most importantly, do not drive in floodwater.
"If you do require emergency help due to storm or flood damage, call the SES on 132 500, or 000 if it is a life-threatening emergency.”
"Road users should drive, ride, cycle, and walk to the conditions, which in many parts of NSW will involve significant rain and wind," Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the NSW Police Force Traffic & Highway Patrol Command said, urging motorists to take extra care.
"The best tip I can offer is for people to slow down," he said. "When you slow down it increases your braking distance and time to react to dangers on the road. In areas where there is serious rainfall, we urge drivers to pull over where safe to do so and wait for the weather to pass before continuing their journey.
"In heavy weather, visibility can be poor, so it is important for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists to wear bright and reflective clothing. Do not cross flooded waters under any circumstances, it’s not worth the risk."
Here's an animation of the intense rainfall forecast for the NSW coast from early tomorrow morning. Stay safe, follow advice from @nswpolice & @NSWSES, and keep an eye on warnings at https://t.co/UO9RfuwTYa. #Newcastle #CentralCoast #SydneyWeather #HazardousSurf #NSWFlood pic.twitter.com/genHPLeeny— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) March 20, 2018
"Daily rainfall totals along the Hunter Coast of between 100 and 200 mm (3.9 - 7.9 inches) are forecast, but some areas could see more – particularly on Wednesday," BOM said. "Final rainfall totals though will vary from place to place depending on exactly the movement of the trough in relation to the coast and ranges, but we do expect that many places will to get their normal monthly rainfall for March in just a couple of days."
Featured image credit: BOM