Both the east and west coasts will be drenched in coming days. Picture: Sky News
Both the east and west coasts will be drenched in coming days. Picture: Sky News

‘Most significant rain event of 2018’ gearing up

THEY say it never rains but it pours.

And, as a major storm front brings wild weather and sustained rain to Australia's southeast and Western Australia over the coming days, you might begin to understand why.

Sky News chief meteorologist Tom Saunders said the weather system - which has already been welcomed in regional NSW - will be Australia's "most significant rain event of 2018".

Some coastal parts of NSW could be drenched with 50-100mm of rain between now and next Tuesday.

Inland towns have already been celebrating a much-wanted downpour. Dubbo recorded 27mm of rain since 9am today and nearby towns and cities recorded from 7mm up to 35mm.

He said the state's inland towns such as Broken Hill have already been lashed with thunderstorms and winds of up to 109km/h which have led to dust storms and flash flooding.

Intense storms have already caused flash flooding and dust storms. Picture: Sky News
Intense storms have already caused flash flooding and dust storms. Picture: Sky News

The outback town picked up 30mm of rain, making it the heaviest downpour in two years.

Mr Saunders said the massive wet front - which will impact almost everywhere between southern Queensland to southern NSW - began to take shape on Wednesday and it will continue until Saturday.

"It's due to a low pressure system and this system is an inland low, rather than off the coast, which means the rain is over the inland and it is also very slow-moving," he said.

"So, we're seeing not just a couple of hours of rain. Some areas will see 24 hours of rain on and off for that period, so there are heavy falls as a result."

This sustained downpours will result in totals of 20mm of rain falling in some affected towns and cities on Thursday alone.

Heavy rain and storms are creeping up through central NSW towards southern inland Queensland and the coast at about 4pm today.

The system will drench almost the entire NSW coastline by Friday - with the biggest deluges hitting central and northern regions.

"There will be a mixtures of showers and severe thunderstorms and we may even see some supercell storms through this area (including southern Queensland) - through Friday and Saturday," Mr Saunders said.

There appears to be light at the end of the tunnel as most of the rain should ease up by Sunday.

However, Mr Saunders said a second spell of intense rain and storms could kick in by Tuesday next week.

And, it's not just the east coast which is copping a drenching.

Western Australia is about to be struck with showers and thunderstorms, with the lion's share of it hitting tomorrow.

The state's southern coastline will be particularly wet.

"We're expecting at least 25mm down near that southwest coast up towards the southern Goldfields," Mr Saunders said.

"With that, we'll have severe thunderstorms especially on Friday. Supercell storms are also possible in this area."

Cities close to the coast including Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Byron Bay have not received an official drop of rain so far, according to Bureau observations. 

But inland towns have received a decent drenching, including 15mm at Trangie and Forbes, 13mm at Brewon and 35mm at Girilambone. 

WEEKEND WEATHER

In Queensland, it's going to be a washout weekend in the southeast. At the lower end of forecasts, Brisbane could see 20mm of rain from Friday until Monday but if the heavens really open, don't be surprised if 60mm pours down.

Temperatures will remain in the mid-20s. Ipswich has a chance of rain today, Friday and Saturday and a forecast of a shower or two every day until Wednesday. 

It could be even wetter on the Gold Coast with upper estimates suggesting 65mm of rain. To escape the rain, head north. In Cairns it should be 30C and sunny.

But on the Sunshine Coast, it won't be beach weather - tops of up to 24 degrees are forecast alongside rainy days much like the rest of south east Queensland. 

Gympie, Toowoomba and Warwick are all forecast to get some of the falls that have put smiles on faces in regional New South Wales. 


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