Big wet brings a month’s rain in 24 hours
A late blast of heavy winter rain will continue to drench Sydney and its surrounding regions in coming days, creating hazardous conditions on the roads.
Sky News meteorologist Rob Sharpe said parts of the NSW coastline had already copped significant rainfall totals over the past 24 hours.
Parts of Sydney have been drenched with 60mm, which is more than the total average rainfall for the entire month of September.
Bellambi Point in Wollongong has seen 75mm of rainfall - it's heaviest total in two-and-a-half years - and, further north, Coffs Harbour was hit with hail.
Today, the heavy wet front is moving north.
"Sydney and the Hunter is where the focus still lies today - in particular the Central Coast where we've seen upwards 100mm from the (wet weather) event already," he said.
Overnight, the Bureau of Meteorology sent out a tweet telling commuters in Sydney and the Central Coast to look out for dangerous road conditions.
A wet commute ahead for #Sydney and the #CentralCoast. While rainfall is welcome news for some areas, pockets of heavier falls could make road conditions dangerous tonight and on Friday. https://t.co/Ntma9zB0vN @nswpolice pic.twitter.com/h5f65chZoc— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) August 29, 2019
It says the wet spells - caused by an upper-level cold pool off the coast that is trapping moisture from the ocean - will bring between 20 and 60mm of rain across Sydney today.
There's even the possibility of thunderstorms. They are forming offshore, but there's a chance they could end up drifting over parts of the city's east and bringing heavier falls.
A marine wind warning is in place for the Sydney closed waters, Macquarie Coast, Hunter Coast, Sydney Coast and Illawarra Coast districts.
However, by Sunday, thing should start to clear up and next week spring will arrive, with warm northerly winds tipped to breeze over the state.
By Wednesday, it's possible these winds could bring the mercury up to 29C in Sydney.
Elsewhere in the country, Melbourne is expected to stay dry until Sunday, when showers will move in for the start of the week.
Meanwhile, Perth saw its hottest August day since records began on Wednesday with some suburbs hitting 30C.
Despite a wet end to winter for many of us, it looks as if large parts of Australia are headed for a dry spring - with most of the country expected to swelter through above average temperatures.
Yesterday, the bureau released its spring climate outlook and provided an overview of winter.
Much of the country experienced unusually dry weather this winter, with only parts of southern Victoria and Tasmania getting a break with above average rainfall for the season.
"Our year to date rainfall is likely to be in the driest five years on record and lowest since 1970," BOM senior hydrologist Paul Feikema said.
"Clear skies have meant that nights were particularly cold in parts of inland Australia."
Heading into September, it looks like the drier than average weather will be sticking around for most parts of the country.
The main cause of all this dry weather that's plaguing most of the country is a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, which is similar to the El Nino/La Nina system but on the other side of the continent.
Cooler waters around Australia and warmer waters in the central Indian Ocean mean the big dry is likely to continue until the end of 2019, according to Mr Feikema.
"This is typically associated with drier spring conditions over central and southern Australia and an increased fire risk in the southeast," he said.
"Days are likely to be warmer than average across most of the country, with a warm spell likely for central and eastern Australia in mid-September."
HOW'S YOUR WEEKEND LOOKING?
Here's the three-day outlooks for your capitals.
Sydney: Batten down your hatches and take care on the roads today because, boy, it's going to be wet. Showers continue tomorrow and the mercury's going to hit a maximum of 19C but, by Sunday, it's going to be warm and sunny.
Melbourne: It's a lot drier in Victoria but a bit on the nippy side. Melbourne will shiver through lows of 2C this morning, increasing to 16C later. Saturday and Sunday will be slightly warmer and there's a chance of a couple of showers by the end of the weekend.
Brisbane: Showers are possible in Brissy today, with temperatures set to hit 23C. It's going to be mostly sunny for the rest of weekend. Tops are 24C on Saturday and 26C on Sunday.
Adelaide: It's going to be sunny today in Adelaide today with a top of 18C. Clouds will start to form over the city tomorrow (20C max) and linger through Sunday (17C max), bringing a chance of showers.
Perth: It's an erratic weekend for Perth. There's a 90 per cent chance of rain today (max 19C) and strong winds. This will clear tomorrow (max 20C), but the rain returns with a vengeance on Sunday (max 20C).
Canberra: It's a chilly start in Canberra today, with the mercury stuck at -1C before rising to 14C later. It's a similar story tomorrow (max 17C) and on Sunday (max 18C).
Hobart: After a cold start Hobart will warm to 16C today. Saturday's sunny (max 19C) and there's a chance of showers on Sunday (max 17C).
Darwin: It's going to be sunny and warm all weekend in Darwin, with temperatures reaching around 32C every day.
- with additional reporting by Ally Foster