Source: Bureau of Meteorology


For people in Mid North Coast, Metropolitan, Illawarra and parts of Northern Rivers, Hunter, South Coast, Central Tablelands and Northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.

Issued at 11:01 am Friday, 7 February 2020.

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

HEAVY RAINFALL, which will likely cause FLASH FLOODING and RIVERINE FLOODING, is possible for parts of the Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, eastern parts of the Northern Tablelands and the lower Hunter today. From Friday afternoon or evening, the focus shifts further south to include the Sydney Metropolitan, Illawarra and eastern parts of the Central Tablelands (including the Blue Mountains) forecast districts.

The location of the heaviest falls will be determined by the movement and strength of the coastal trough, by where thunderstorms occur, as well as to the south of any transient low embedded within the coastal trough. The heaviest rainfall over the next 24 hours is initially focused about the Mid North Coast and the Lower Hunter but will shift south to focus about the Hunter, Sydney and Illawarra coasts Friday evening and into Saturday.

Heavy rainfall is currently expected to ease for parts of the Northern Rivers and northern parts of the Mid North Coast on Saturday, although showers are likely to continue.

DAMAGING WINDS, with gusts in excess of 90 km/h, are possible for coastal areas between Gosford and Coffs Harbour today. This risk shifts south to coastal areas between Nowra and Port Macquarie during Friday night and into Saturday.

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES are forecast with this system, as the sea water level may exceed the highest tide of the year between Nowra and Newcastle on Saturday morning.

DAMAGING SURF CONDITIONS are developing during Saturday afternoon, with waves possibly exceeding 5 metres in the surf zone which may produce significant beach erosion.

A Flood Watch and a number of Flood Warnings have been issued for this event.

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

During the weekend, there is potential for heavy rainfall along parts of the 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 Thursday to 4am Friday, the following locations have recorded the highest rainfall totals. 283mm at Byron Bay (Belongil Creek Bridge), 275.4mm at Cape Byron AWS, 258.5 Byron Bay (Tallow Creek Bridge) and 235mm at Glennifer.

115mm was recorded in the 2 hours to 4:18am at Cape Byron AWS (82mm of which fell in 1 hour).

102mm was recorded in the 2 hours to 4:15am at Byron Bay (Tallow Creek Bridge).

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.