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Australia rain bomb: Flooding, wind and torrential rain to wreak havoc across east coast

Australia’s east coast is set to endure a hellish week as a powerful weather system brings heavy rainfall, flooding and winds ‘strong enough to bring down power lines’. 

The low pressure system drenched the Gold Coast, Central Coast and Sydney on Sunday with some parts of the NSW capital copping more than 100mm of rain. 

Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne are all experiencing rain as the system moves down the NSW South Coast towards Victoria on Monday. On top of the wet weather, the NSW capital is also experiencing gale force winds of up to 60kmh. 

BOM Meteorologist Grace Legge said the system will continue to have dangerous consequences with severe weather warnings in place for NSW, ACT and Victoria. 

‘From Monday we will likely see locally damaging winds strong enough to bring down trees and power lines with the main area of concern along the coast south of Taree and severe weather warnings are current,’ Ms Legge said. 

‘The heavier rain fall is forecast to shift to the Illawarra and South Coast and possibly far east Gippsland and Victoria with a flood watch already out for some catchments and the potential for river rises along coastal parts,’ Ms Legge continued.

‘Thunder storms embedded in the system may produce locally heavy falls leading to flash flooding.’ 

Up to 35mm of rain is expected in Sydney on Monday with moderate gale force winds of up to 60kmh expected for Monday night.  

The Sydney CBD has already experienced 85mm rain in the last 24 hours with Turramurra in the Upper North Shore receiving the most in the city at 115mm. 

There is currently a severe weather warning in place for Sydney and the NSW coast from Newcastle down to Eden near Victoria. 

Motorists are advised to park their cars under cover and away from trees, not to attempt to drive through flood water and avoid fallen trees or power lines. 

On Tuesday, up to 15mm more rain is expected with gusty southwesterly winds of up to 40kmh.

Relief for Sydneysiders will finally come on Wednesday, when the wet weather will be replaced with mostly sunny skies – although southwesterly winds of up to 20kmh will remain with a slight chance of rain returning on Thursday. 

‘Wind and rain are not the only concern with large and powerful waves forecast for Monday and Tuesday. This may result in hazardous beach conditions with very heavy surf and coastal erosion especially for south facing surf zones,’ Ms Legge said.

‘This included the vulnerable Central Coast which suffered significant erosion last week associated with the recent Tasman low. Hazardous surf conditions are likely to ease from later Wednesday as the system pulls away from the coast.’  

NSW skiers are rejoicing at up to 20mm of snow in Thredbo on Monday, although strong gale force winds of up to 75kmh make conditions quite hostile. 

A severe weather warning for ‘damaging winds’ has been issued for the Snowy Mountains, which could cause trees to fall over. More snow is expected on Tuesday with wind expected to decrease to 20kmh in the evening. 

Perisher, however, is experiencing normal rain with snow only falling above 1,700m. In addition, the alpine region is also being hit with winds of up to 75kmh.

Canberra will be lashed with up to 25mm of rain on Monday with strong winds of up to 35kmh. The rain will ease of to just 2mm on Tuesday with wind persisting. 

The wet weather will be replaced by the Australian capital’s usual frosty weather from Wednesday, with the minimum temperature hovering around zero. 

While Sydney is experiencing torrential downpours, Melbourne only has light showers on Monday with just 2mm expected. 

Melburnians in lockdown will likely be rugging up in their homes with a minimum of 8C and maximum of 15C on Tuesday.  The minimum will drop to 6C on Wednesday.

There will be a slight chance of showers throughout the rest of the week with mostly sunny skies and some cloud forecasted. 

Victoria’s alpine regions are experiencing blizzards with Mount Hotham receiving fresh snowfall and gale force winds of up to 70kmh.  

Meanwhile, Mount Buller has snow showers and winds up to 60kmh while Falls Creek also has snow and winds of up to 65kmh. 

On the West Coat, Perth is experiencing strong northwesterly winds of up to 30kmh with evening showers and up to 6mm of rain expected on Monday evening.  

Cloudy skies and light wind will persist on Tuesday before easing off into partly cloudy skies with a minimum of 11C and maximum of 20C on Tuesday.  

While the low pressure has now moved south, Brisbane will still experience winds of up to 45kmh on Monday. This is accompanied by sunny skies. 

Winds will ease to 20kmh from Tuesday before ending on Thursday. Sunny skies a minimum of 11C and maximum of 24C are forecast for Tuesday. 

Adelaidians woke up to fog and a light shower this morning with winds of 25kmh expected for this afternoon. 

Tuesday will bring very chilly weather with a low of 3C and maximum of 14C. This will gradually increase day by day to a minimum of 9C and maximum of 19C on Saturday.

Hobart residents are bracing light southwesterly winds of up to 30kmh with a chilly maximum temperature of 13C. 

The partly cloudy weather and cool weather will continue on Tuesday with a slight chance of rain from Wednesday to Friday, which will lead to wet weather on the weekend. 

On the other side of the country in the Top End, Darwin is currently going through its dry season with a high of 33C and winds of 35kmh on Monday.

The temperature will decrease slightly to 32C on Tuesday for the rest of the week while winds of 30-35kmh will persist. 

Residents experienced flash flooding in Mullumbimby, Coffs Harbour and Newcastle over the weekend. 

A busload of ten children were rescued by SES volunteers on an inflatable boat at the University of Newcastle at Callaghan on Sunday night, with four other drivers in the city winched from their cars in rapidly rising waters.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds, heavy rainfall and damaging surf has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for the metropolitan, Illawarra, south coast, Hunter, central tablelands and southern tablelands forecast districts.  

More than 150 bags of rocks have been lined on the shore at Wamberal after 54 residents were told to leave their homes due to safety concerns as the beach was torn away by the powerful surf conditions. 

The south-east swell is set to peak at more than five metres on Tuesday, leaving residents hopeful they will prevent further damage to the coastline. 

‘I try not to be dominated by fear, I try to be optimistic and cross our fingers that what we have done is enough,’ Wamberal resident Margaret Brice told SMH.

Wamberal Beach is closed at the sites with significant erosion, where asbestos was found strewn on the beach from underneath one of the houses. 

A marine wind warning is in place for NSW with strong southerly wind gusts in excess of 90km/h predicted on the south coast on Monday morning before moving north into the Illawarra, Sydney and Central Coast.

Northern parts of Victoria will feel the storm as it moves down the coast, with a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and damaging winds in place. 

The low pressure system will start to move out to sea and fade away from Wednesday, bringing calmer conditions to the east coast heading into the latter part of the week.

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