A low-pressure trough is developing off the coast of northern New South Wales (NSW) as of Wednesday, February 5, and is expected to bring significant rains to the region through Monday, February 10. According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), parts of NSW and Queensland may experience their highest rainfall totals within the past couple of years. According to BOM forecasts, up to 50 cm (20 in) of rain may hit Queensland through Thursday, February 6, particularly between Rockhampton and East Gippsland. Flood warnings are in effect for Cooper Creek, Thomson River, Georgina River, Paroo River, and the Diamantina River. The rain and thunderstorms in Queensland are expected to ease on Friday, February 7.
In NSW, some areas may experience up to 20 cm (8 in) of rainfall through February 10. Coastal areas, particularly in northern NSW, are expected to receive the highest levels of rainfall. Sydney and the South Coast will likely see significant rains starting on Saturday, February 8. Up-to-date weather warnings for NSW and Queensland can be found on the BOM website here.
The BOM is warning that flash flooding is possible in NSW and Queensland over the coming days. Areas that have been affected by the recent bush fires are at a particular risk, with vegetation and trees being prone to run-off. Associated disruptions, including transportation disruptions, infrastructure damages, and power outages, are possible in the affected areas over the coming days.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions and flight reservations before setting out, anticipate transportation and business disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.