Damaging winds, heavy rainfall and flash flooding is expected for people in the Hunter, Illawarra and central tablelands districts from Saturday afternoon until early Sunday morning.
The weather bureau has issued a severe weather warning for the NSW regions, as weather conditions across the state are expected to deteriorate with heavy rain, storms and dangerous flash flooding likely in the next 24 hours.
North-western NSW and south-western Queensland have also been warned a severe thunderstorm with damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall is likely.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is also warning towns along the western NSW-Queensland border to prepare for the thunderstorm to develop within the next few hours.
Sydneysiders had a brief reprieve from heavy downpours as more roads have reopened that were closed yesterday due to flooding.
Oxford Falls Road, Wakehurst Parkway, Cambridge Avenue, Cattai Road and Audley Weir were all reopened by the NSW transport management centre this morning.
More thunderstorms coming
NSW Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said the state is “in the middle of two wet weather systems at present”.
A trough and a cold front is sitting over much of NSW and is also expected to bring wet weather to Queensland and Victoria, which are also bracing for storms and potential flooding.
“Over the next 24-36 hours we are likely to see increased rainfall across southern inland places like Bathurst and also across Sydney,” Cooke said today.
“We are expecting weather conditions to deteriorate over this time and on that basis, we’re asking communities to work with us.”
The minster then made particular reference to communities along the Hawkesbury and Nepean rivers.
The BoM this morning upgraded its flood advice for the two waterways from minor to moderate flooding.
“We are conscious of the fact that your communities have experienced four floods within an 18-month period and acknowledge the anxiety some of you will be feeling,” Cooke said.
“The SES are very well prepared … we have prepositioned resources right across NSW.”
Minor flooding is occurring at North Richmond and is possible in Penrith, and renewed minor to moderate flooding is possible at Menangle.
Those travelling to the Bathurst 1000 have also been issued a harsh reminder as the wet weather lingers.
“We know floodwaters can rise very rapidly, the ground is saturated,” Deputy Premier, Police Minister and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said.
“If you go into floodwaters what you’re doing is not only putting your life and your passengers lives at risk, you’re also putting the lives of our emergency service personnel at risk as well.
“Please don’t risk it.”
He urged campers to not pitch a tent near riverways or camp underneath trees and warned of congestion along the Great Western Highway, Princes Highway and the M1 Motorway.
“Plan your trips, take your time,” he said.
“Drive to conditions – there will be wet weather.”
Nearly 60 flood warnings in effect for NSW
“The areas of impact and concern are Gunnedah, Bathurst, Forbes, Warren and most of inland NSW,” SES Superintendent Josh Clark said.
“Thankfully at the moment we’ve only had 365 requests for assistance in the last 24 hours across NSW, of note, four of those have been flood recues.
“Again the message is really clear from emergency services: please, if the road is flooded, forget it. Turn around.”
Earlier this morning SES spokesman Jason Simms said the service is also on alert for potential tornadoes.
“The SES have preemptively deployed personnel to various parts of the state within the potentially impacted area,” Simms told 9News.
“(But) with tornadoes and destructive storms it is hard to predict and the lead time is minimal.
“As with all severe storms, the best idea is to stay indoors, away from windows, unplug electrical devices and stay away from fallen trees and power lines and clean up around the yard.
“Make sure there is no loose material.”
The BoM has issued a strong wind warning for the Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast, Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast today.
Tomorrow this will extend to Sydney Enclosed Waters, Coffs Coast, Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast.
Simms said an excess of 50mm of rain could fall around saturated catchments in Sydney, the Central West, the Illawarra and South Coast in the coming days.
Much of the flood risk is in the state’s central and north-west with the SES issuing 14 “watch and act” notices across the region.
Bourke is one of the areas on alert, with SES writing: “The Darling River at Bourke is likely to reach the moderate flood level (11.40 metres) around 12-14 October.
“The river level may reach around 12.00 metres during late October, with further rises possible.”
The outback town had its wettest October day in 67 years recording 45.4mm.
Weatherzone said an end to the wild conditions is in sight.
“The silver-lining to this wet week is a broad high pressure system moving in from the weekend, allowing skies to clear and days to warm up early next week,” it wrote.
Queensland and Victoria
A trough will pass over Queensland from Saturday, which is expected to bring about 40-60mm of rain to some sections of the south east.
Half a dozen flood warnings have been issued for the Sunshine State.
“What has got forecasters really concerned this morning is what’s being called a ‘cool pool’, this weird weather phenomenon,” Davies explained.
“There is a section of the ocean just off south-east Queensland here on the Gold Coast that is much cooler, below average temperatures in the ocean.
“This pool is actually expanding in size and that is what forecasters are keeping a very close eye on.
“What their concern here is that the cooler, below-average temperature water mixes with the warmer waters, particularly as it starts to warm up closer to summer, and that could lead to convection and of course a greater chance of flooding events.”
Victoria is also bracing for showers and potential thunderstorms today.
It is predicted to hold until early 2023.
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