The rain bomb passing over Sydney filled the city’s largest dam almost to capacity, potentially causing it to be spilled as early as tonight.
Residents living downstream in suburbs such as Richmond and Windsor are urged to remain vigilant in case water draining from the Warragamba Dam causes the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system to break.
Warragamba, which supplies the majority of Sydney’s water, is currently at 99.6% capacity.
There could be “downstream impacts” from the release of excess water, said WaterNSW, the body responsible for the dam.
Modeling of the body suggested that a maximum rate of 100 gigaliters of water per day could be discharged by Saturday morning.
The Hawkesbury-Nepean system was inundated during heavy rains in March earlier this year. The expected spill rate would be significantly lower than the March event, WaterNSW said.
Warragamba, which supplies the majority of Sydney’s water, is currently at 99.6% of capacity
Severe flood warnings have been issued along Australia’s east coast as a century-long storm sweeps the country.
Torrential rains hit most of Australia and added several days of wet weather in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
The Bureau of Meteorology said the continued downpour led to one of the wettest November on record with widespread flooding across the country.
The NSW area has been hit hard with Scone, Inverell and Gunnedah inundated by raging flood waters.
Conditions are unlikely to ease until the weekend with the NSW coast to deal with the worst of storms.
A driver navigates along a flooded road in Sydney as heavy rains hit Australia’s east coast
Severe flood warnings have been issued along Australia’s east coast as a century-long storm sweeps the country (pictured, Inverell in northern NSW)
Torrential rains hit most of Australia and added several days of wet weather in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia (pictured, Scone in the Upper Hunter Shire in NSW)
Savage weather has already resulted in widespread flooding, with drivers being warned not to use the roads and to stay home
Flood waters slowly rise at a house in Cassilis, central New South Wales, leaving residents stranded
âUnfortunately, this wet weather will continue for the rest of the day and into the weekend,â said Jonathan How, senior meteorologist for the BoM.
“We will see a lot of showers, storms in eastern Victoria, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast as well.”
Heavy rains hit Sydney on Friday as a low developed from the southern and western parts of the state.
The savage weather has already resulted in widespread flooding, with drivers being warned not to use the roads and to stay at home.
“Flooded roads and reduced visibility in heavy rain will make driving conditions dangerous on Friday in all suburbs,” an alert from the Bureau of Meteorology said.
A severe thunderstorm warning indicating damaging winds and heavy rain has been issued for the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Maitland, Cessnock, Greater Newcastle, Gosford and Wyong areas.
Up to 45mm of rain is forecast for Sydney, as well as dangerous surf conditions.
The Sydney suburb of Canterbury suffered a 30.2mm soaking in just an hour on Thursday night, as backyards turned into lakes.
Sydney Airport was flooded by 24.2mm in less than an hour while Richmond, in the city’s northwest, received 26.6mm in three hours, Weatherzone reported.
The Warragamba Dam in Sydney received 96mm of rain within 24 hours.
Weather experts predicted most of Australia would be engulfed in wet conditions by Sunday
Drivers along a flooded road in Sydney as heavy rains continue to fall in the New South Wales capital
Raging floodwaters inundated Scone in Upper Hunter Shire, NSW, as rain battered the state on Friday
Raging floodwaters flow in Gungal in New South Wales’s Upper Hunter Shire on Friday
Heavy rains fell in Sydney on Friday as a low developed from the southern and western parts of the state
The Sydney downpour on Thursday disrupted play in a Sheffield Shield game at SCG.
The State Emergency Service urged everyone to stay away from fallen power lines, streams and storm sewers and not cross flood waters.
Australia is on track for its wettest spring in a decade and parts of New South Wales have already received more than three times their normal precipitation for November.
âThe spring was wetter than normal and as a result the soil moisture is high, the water supplies are full and we have seen flooding in some areas,â said Dr Andrew Watkins, chief of operational climate services of the BoM.
“Any additional rain on our already wet landscape will increase the risk of flooding for eastern Australia this summer.”
Parts of the southern state suffered soaking on Thursday, with a portable rain station south of Griffith measuring 60mm in an hour.
Snowball, southeast of Canberra, recorded 28mm in one hour and Braidwood recorded 15mm in 30 minutes.
Parts of Australia have been inundated by widespread flooding as torrential rains hit New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia
Up to 45mm of rain is forecast for Sydney, as well as dangerous surf conditions
Gunnedah recorded over 20mm in 90 minutes and a similar amount fell in Gunnedah over a two hour period.
Grafton recorded 20mm in three hours, Cabramurra saw 26mm drop in four hours
Areas such as Coombah, Hay, Wilcannia, Broken Hill, Ivanhoe, Menindee and Balranald were on the way to a “complex low pressure system” that moved into the lower part of the state on Thursday.
Brisbane will also experience its heaviest rain on Friday, with up to 50mm forecast and a storm likely.
All residents of Forbes have now been given the green light to return home after the Lachlan River fell below minor flood levels.
At the height of the flooding in Forbes earlier this month, nearly 2,000 residents were ordered to evacuate and the river peaked at 10.54 meters, above major flood levels but below the peak during previous floods in 2016.
The NSW Farmers Association has called for a statewide declaration of natural disaster so relief funds can be accessed as farmers watch pens underwater and their crops destroyed after so many years of drought .
Operational Climate Services Meteorological Bureau Chief Andrew Watkins said the summer outlook for New South Wales was humid, with temperatures cooler than usual on the coast and warmer than usual in the western state.
Daily minimum temperatures are expected to be higher than normal as increasing clouds trap warm air, resulting in warmer nights.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL THIS WEEK
Saturday: 15-20 degrees and possible showers
Sunday: 15-21 degrees and possible showers
Saturday: 10-19 degrees and mostly cloudy
Sunday: 9-19 degrees and mostly sunny
Saturday: 21-28 degrees and possible showers
Sunday: 20-25 degrees and possible showers
Saturday: 26-33 degrees and showers
Sunday: 25-35 degrees and possible showers
Saturday: 20-34 degrees and sunny
Sunday: 19-33 degrees and sunny
Saturday: 10-22 degrees and mostly sunny
Sunday: 11-23 degrees and sunny
Saturday: 7-17 degrees and cloudy
Sunday: 7-19 degrees and mostly sunny
Hobart: Saturday: 8-16 degrees and mostly sunny
Sunday: 8-20 degrees and mostly sunny