East coast deluge set to ‘intensify’
Heavy rain is set to "intensify" today as the remnants of a tropical cyclone careers through south eastern Australian dragging a deluge in its path.
A severe weather warning for heavy rain is in place for a vast area of New South Wales and the ACT, from Bourke to Canberra, Albury and Wagga Wagga. The warning area also spreads into Victoria. Here, rain is likley to be continuous for the next 36 hours.
But forecasters have warned just about anyone in the eastern states to keep their umbrellas handy, with little let up in the rain for at least the next week.
Another rain band is powering its way towards the Queensland coast where it could linger for days, dumping huge amounts of moisture.
Sydney was sodden overnight with Richmond, at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, seeing 36mm of rain with more being dumped during the commute. Terrey Hills in the city's north has seen around 26mm.
But it was Fowlers Gap, in the NSW desert north of Broken Hill, which really saw a washout with 120mm falling.
Over the coming days, Sydney could see a further 70mm of rain. That's nothing on Canberra that could see that just today and another 80mm tomorrow. It will likely be wet in Melbourne too while Brisbane will could see heavy showers from Friday onwards.
NSW, ACT AND VICTORIA
"Widespread rain is expected across inland and south east NSW today and tomorrow. Rain is forecast to intensify later today and during Thursday, presenting a flash flood risk for some areas," the Bureau of Meteorology said this morning.
A low, the remains of ex-tropical cyclone Esther, entered NSW yesterday and is now following a south easterly course sending it over Canberra and that out into the Tasman on Friday.
While that means southern NSW is particularly in the firing line, much of the state and also Victoria could be affected.
"For south east Australia over the next 48 hours we will see widespread rain particularly in inland NSW down to north east Victoria on Thursday and even heavier rain near centre of ex cyclone," Sky News Weather meteorologist Tom Saunders said.
"For most areas, this is just good news. Of course, we're in the middle of a drought so farmers are going to love the rain but it will be heavy enough to lead to some flash flooding particularly in the path of Esther."
Rain increasing across the #ACT today and tomorrow as tropical moisture from ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther moves into the region. Potential for heavy rainfall/flash flood risk later today and during tomorrow. Stay on top of weather and flood warnings at https://t.co/ArvbcrwYTN pic.twitter.com/nfeiESpq07— Bureau of Meteorology Australian Capital Territory (@BOM_ACT) March 3, 2020
There are flood warnings in place for a number of rivers in northern NSW close to the Queensland border and a flood watch has been issued for waterways near Canberra and in the Riverina.
"Even though the system will move rapidly away on Friday, there could still be showers on the weekend on coastal areas thanks to a southerly airstream which could be moderate in intensity across the NSW coast from Sunday into early next week," said Mr Saunders.
Canberra is looking at 75 - 150mm of rain over just the next two days. Less heavy showers may continue through the weekend. Highs will be around the 20C mark but it could reach 25C on Friday. On the weekend, the minimum temperatures could drop into single digits.
Remaining wet in Sydney for the next few days, but there may be some dry patches. Showers will likely linger into the weekend with as much as 15mm of rain on Friday. The mercury might hit around 25C most days, rising to 28C on Friday.
Humid in a sunny, cloudy and damp Melbourne. Possibly as much 20mm of rain over the next few days with maximums just above 20C.
Far wetter in the state's north, however, with between 55 - 130mm falling on Wodonga and Shepparton.
QUEENSLAND AND OTHER STATES
Cloudy in Hobart today and then very wet tomorrow when 15-30mm or rain could fall. Temperatures are forecast to hit 20mm. Showers could continue into the weekend.
The rain will come eater to Queensland - but when it does it will pack a punch.
In the north, Esther has left behind a band of moisture that is heading towards the east coast where it should arrive on Friday.
"Then it will stall on the coast leading to further heavy rain and potentially storms and showers. That could then move back west and as a consequence most of Queensland could see 50mm of rain over the next week," said Mr Saunders.
Brisbane will be dry and warm today and tomorrow reaching 30C. On Friday expect up to 8mm of rain and possible shower with rain, heavy at times, into next week.
Further north in Townsville, there could be as little as 10mm or as much as 65mm of rain in the coming week.
Elsewhere, Darwin can look forward to afternoon storms and highs of 33C today and tomorrow. Drier conditions for Friday and Saturday before the storms begin again on Sunday.