Heavy rain to soak east coast of Australia for rest of week

It is a weather forecast that may make those who travelled north for the school holidays – only to be plunged into lockdown – feel a little better: soaking rain is set to hit most of Queensland and northern New South Wales, lasting into the weekend.

The Bureau of Meteorology expected that a high over the Tasman Sea and an upper trough and surface trough that would move over the east coast in coming days could result in heavy isolated falls and thunderstorms, particularly in south-east and central Queensland, and north-east NSW.

Parts of NSW had already received a soaking, with weather stations in the Hunter and Central Coast regions copping more than 30mm of rain in the 24 hours to Tuesday night.

But that’s nothing compared to what the bureau has forecast for parts of central and northern Queensland later in the week, with as much as 200mm expected to fall in some regions.

The bureau said showers were more likely in northern NSW and in central southern inland regions on Wednesday, with near average or above average temperatures.

Op Donderdag, there were forecast showers on the western slopes and plains and over the north coast, and snow above 1,600 metres, before more rain forecast everywhere other than the far west and south coast and a chance of thunderstorms in the north-east on Friday.

There was also a hazardous surf warning for Byron Coast, Coffs Coast, Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast, Illawarra Coast, Batemans Coast and Eden Coast on Wednesday.

The bureau expected a few showers in Queensland for the rest of the week, but expected the heaviest falls on Saturday.

But it said there was “still some uncertainty in the timing and development” of a trough that was expected to move across the NSW border later that day across central and south-east coastal districts and an associated amplified upper trough.

The weather was hardly more conducive to holidaying across the Tasman – even if Australians could get there.

On Tuesday afternoon, Wellington declared a state of emergency in southern suburbs, evacuating a 3km stretch of road for fear of storm surges including six-metre swells.

Snow had closed roads as far north as Gisborne, in the east of North Island.

In total, more than a dozen highways were shut, including state highway one in two places – just north of Dunedin and in the elevated central North Island, as well as key mountain passes on South Island.

Further south, major snowfalls in the resort town of Queenstown closed schools for the day, with authorities asking residents to avoid driving at all if possible.

Snow was reported in the coastal city of Dunedin, and back in the capital, heavy hail landed through the night, and snow flurries through the day.

With Australian Associated Press





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