Residents of eastern NSW urged to stay safe during severe weather this weekend
Severe weather expected over eastern New South Wales due to an intensifying East Coast Low.
A low pressure trough over inland NSW will deepen and move eastwards today.
Acting New South Wales Regional Director, Jane Golding, said as this system moves over warmer waters off the northern NSW coast over the next couple of hours it will develop into an East Coast Low.
“This system is forecast to intensify tonight as it moves southwards and will continue to produce widespread heavy rain and high winds that result in riverine and flash flooding, dangerous roads, bring trees and powerlines down and may cause significant property damage,” Ms Golding said.
"This system has already produced upwards of 200mm in the far northeast of NSW, with more to come. We’ve also seen an increase in winds along the coast today, and these winds will increase further tonight as the low intensifies and tracks southwards. Locally destructive winds of around 125 km/hr are possible over areas to the south of this system.”
“We’re particularly concerned about winds and rainfall intensifying tonight and through into Sunday morning as the low continues to deepen and move southwards. The major population centres of Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong will be under threat through this period, particularly along the coastal fringe. The focus will most likely shift to the southern NSW coast during Sunday.”
With a King Tide expected and huge seas creating dangerous surf conditions along the whole coast, significant coastal inundation and beach erosion is also expected.
A Flood Watch has been issued for nearly all of the river valleys along the NSW coast. Severe Weather and Flood Warnings have been issued for this event with both meteorologists and hydrologists closely monitoring the situation. Members of the public are advised to stay tuned for updates to these warnings.
The Bureau of Meteorology and the NSW State Emergency Service have been working together in preparation for the upcoming conditions.
NSW SES Acting Commissioner Greg Newton has urged the community to consider the weather conditions and avoid unnecessary travel.
"Torrential rain and damaging winds are expected in the entire coast over the next 12-24 hours. This will lead to localised flash flooding and the risk of drivers being caught in floodwater," Acting Commissioner Newton said.
"The NSW SES asks drivers to stay away from flooded areas and find an alternate, safer route. Better to arrive a little later than be caught in floodwater and risk the loss of your car, or even your life."
For further information, including the latest Flood and Weather Warnings, and rainfall and radar information, go to the Bureau's website www.bom.gov.au.
The Bureau is now using Twitter to disseminate significant weather information for the community. Follow us @BOM_NSW and @BOM_QLD.
The Bureau's website remains the most up-to-date and comprehensive official source of information.