Flood warnings issued for Queensland, NSW

This weekend, regions within Queensland and New South Wales are bracing for significant weather events, as heavy rainfall and flood is forecasted to saturate the area. Motorists are being strongly advised to limit their travel to only essential journeys in anticipation of the adverse conditions.

Laura Boekel, a seasoned meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology, highlights a meteorological trough as the primary factor behind the substantial rainfall expected to hit both Queensland and New South Wales. The current atmospheric conditions, rich in moisture, are poised to generate storms capable of producing considerable rainfall, impacting various communities across these states.

Sydney, in particular, has already started to feel the effects of this severe weather pattern, with major flooding reported in certain areas by Friday afternoon. Authorities are urging drivers to exercise caution and avoid unnecessary travel. A severe weather alert has been issued, covering a broad swath of the NSW coast, extending from Morisset in the Hunter region to Bega on the South Coast and reaching inland areas beyond Oberon and Goulburn.

The potential for severe thunderstorms looms over a large section of the area, from the Queensland border down to Wollongong and stretching westward to Griffith and Cobar. Sydney recorded its highest daily rainfall in two years, with 111mm falling within a 24-hour period, and it’s predicted that the city will exceed its average April rainfall total before the weekend concludes. Saturday’s forecast anticipates between 10mm and 50mm of rain, with expectations of a decrease by Sunday.

Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s principal water reservoir, is nearing its capacity, standing at 96.3% full, with forecasts predicting it is likely to overflow by Monday, according to Water NSW’s chief executive, Andrew George. An accumulation of approximately 90mm of rainfall is needed to fill the dam, with projections indicating an incoming 100mm to 150mm of rain.

A convergence of an inland low and a coastal trough over NSW is identified as the catalyst for the heavy rainfall, prompting warnings from the SES regarding the high risk of “dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding” starting Friday evening. This intense rainfall is not limited to NSW; parts of south and southeast Queensland are also facing continued downpours.

Laura Boekel further detailed that widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected to persist into the weekend, particularly affecting the southern and southeastern regions of Queensland. Areas south of Brisbane, including Logan, Gold Coast, and the Scenic Rim, are identified as high-risk zones for localized heavy falls.

Amidst this backdrop of severe weather, emergency services are on high alert, with Queensland police deputy commissioner, Shane Chelepy, emphasizing the importance of reevaluating travel plans. The community is being reminded of the critical message: “If it’s flooded, don’t drive in it,” in light of the increased risk of accidents under these conditions.

As the region prepares for the incoming weather, the SES has already been active, responding to numerous calls for assistance and undertaking flood rescues.

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