People living in flood-devastated areas of NSW who are still cleaning up from unprecedented rain that began more than three weeks ago are warned more potentially damaging weather is on the way.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the La Nina pattern that brought record rain and flooding over summer is far from over, with the wild weather expected to continue for months.
The BOM is predicting at least another week of heavy rain and thunderstorms along the east coast from Sydney, the Hunter and up the Mid-North Coast and the Northern Rivers – all areas that remain saturated by the recent spate of torrential rain.
A strong wind warning has been issued for the coast from Sydney to Eden on the South Coast.
The coastal drenching will begin on Wednesday afternoon with storms and rain continuing sporadically for a week.
The BOM’s Jonathon How says there is also the potential for flash flooding as rain hits already saturated soil as well as catchments, rivers and creeks.
A southerly change will hit on Wednesday afternoon with possibly severe thunderstorms north of Newcastle, with heavy rain and damaging winds, possibly extending to the Mid-North Coast and southern parts of the Northern Rivers which copped the worst of the recent flooding.
“From tomorrow that’s when we see the rain become more widespread right down towards the South Coast as well,” Mr How told the ABC on Wednesday.
Rainfall totalling 100-150mm is tipped to fall over the next five-to-seven days but some parts could see more than 200mm, around the Hunter and Mid-North Coast and up towards the Northern Rivers.
People living in communities affected by the recent flooding are warned to keep an eye on forecasts, with the BOM poised to issue a flood watch for parts of the Central and Northern Coast.
“We will really see that rain start to pick up later in the week,” Mr How said.
“Thee soils are just so saturated it won’t take many more millimetres for … those creeks and rivers possibly start to rise towards the latter part of the week.
“We could see flash flooding and riverine flooding as well …. definitely don’t be complacent,” he said.
There was also the potential for more minor and possibly moderate flooding for some rivers.
“It certainly could be quite dangerous for these communities,” Mr How said.
As the state endured a soggy summer, Sydney has recorded 409mm of rain this month already, making it the fourth-wettest March on record.
“This is all part of the La Nina pattern sticking around and we are expecting it to stay until late autumn,” Mr How said.
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