Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Issued at 10:45 pm Thursday, 6 February 2020.

INTENSE COASTAL TROUGH BRINGING HEAVY RAIN TO PARTS OF EASTERN NEW SOUTH WALES

Weather Situation: A coastal trough near the northern New South Wales coast is bringing increased rainfall to the area. This trough is expected to deepen and gradually shift southwards, increasing rainfall along the central and southern parts of the coast and adjacent ranges during Friday and over the weekend. For some areas, intense rainfall rates and gusty winds are possible with thunderstorm activity or with the formation of mesoscale lows embedded within the coastal trough.

HEAVY RAINFALL which may lead to FLASH FLOODING and RIVERINE FLOODING is possible for parts of the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and eastern parts of the Northern Tablelands forecast districts tonight and on Friday. From late Friday morning, the focus shifts further south to include the Lower Hunter, and by Friday night, to include the Sydney Metropolitan area, eastern parts of the Central Tablelands (including the Blue Mountains) and northern parts of the Illawarra forecast districts.

The location of the heaviest falls will be determined by the movement and strength of the coastal trough, and by where thunderstorms occur. The heaviest rainfall over the next 24 hours will be focused about the Mid North Coast, coastal parts of the Northern Rivers and the Lower Hunter.

DAMAGING WIND GUSTS, in excess of 90 km/h, are possible for coastal areas between Newcastle and Wooli from early Friday morning. This risk shifts south to coastal areas between Sydney and Port Macquarie during Friday night.

A Flood Watch has been issued for this event, with Flood Warnings also now current.

Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Taree, Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney and Wollongong.

During the weekend, there is potential for heavy rainfall along parts of the central and/or southern coast and adjacent ranges as this system shifts its focus southwards. This situation is being monitored closely and any warnings will be updated if heavy rainfall for these areas becomes likely.

From 9am to 10pm Thursday, the following locations have recorded the highest rainfall totals. Woolgoolga WTP 191mm, Bellingen (Crystal Creek) 182mm, Thora Post Office 180mm, Gleniffer 177mm, and Myocum 163mm.

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.