BIG WET: ‘The worst of it will be tonight’
HEAVY rainfall and "abnormally high tides" are expected to cause flash flooding along parts of Australia's east coast, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.
A severe weather warning has been issued for coastal regions in northern NSW as a "bigger than usual" high tide combines with a deep low-pressure system and strong winds.
The trough is expected to bring periods of heavy rain to the southern NSW coast today and Tuesday, according to the bureau.
It comes as severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued between Bundaberg and the Gold Coast in Queensland. The Central Highlands and Coalfields districts, including Emerald and Clermont, will likely be hit by large hailstones, according to the bureau.
BoM meteorologist Helen Reid told news.com.au the system on the NSW coast was the same one that had crossed through northern Victoria over the weekend and caused widespread damage.
"It's a significant coastal trough feeding moisture in and rainfall, it's associated with the Victoria (weather events)," Ms Reid said.
"It's quite a dynamic system and there's significant movement within the trough.
"Rainfall may be enhanced on a local scale by the development of small low pressure circulations within the trough, and thunderstorm activity."
Ms Reid said the trough was particularly stubborn as it "loitered" over the coastal region.
"While normally you'd see something like this disappear into the Tasman, this one is hanging around the coast and bringing extra rainfall to the south east coast of NSW," she said.
Ms Reid said major cities including Sydney would be impacted on a "smaller scale" with showers to continue until Wednesday.
"We expect it to loiter for another day and not ease off until Wednesday so Tuesday will be quite wet.
"The worst of it will be tonight and Tuesday morning."
In a wet start to summer, heavy rain may lead to flash flooding, in coastal areas between Nowra and Narooma from this afternoon until Tuesday afternoon, the Bureau said in a statement
"Water levels could reach or exceed the highest tide of the year during high tide tonight and on Tuesday morning," according to BoM.
High tide is expected in affected regions including Batemans Bay, Moruya Heads, Huskisson and Ulladulla, between about 9 and 10pm tonight. Another high tide will take place between 9 and 10am on Tuesday morning.
"Residents need to be alert, not alarmed," a BoM spokesman said.
NSW Police urged motorists to take extra care while driving with wet weather expected to continue and "increased danger" on the roads.
The warning comes after three people died in separate crashes over the weekend.
Investigations into each of the crashes are continuing and police are urging anyone with information to come forward.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said motorists "should drive, ride, cycle, and walk to the conditions".
"When you slow down it increases your braking distance and time to react to dangers on the road," he said.
"In areas where there is serious rainfall, we urge drivers to pull over where safe to do so and wait for the weather to pass before continuing their journey.
"In heavy weather, visibility can be poor, so it is important for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists to wear bright and reflective clothing.
"Do not cross flooded waters under any circumstances, it's not worth the risk."
The NSW road toll this year is 351.
"Drivers need to consider whether it is necessary to drive during extreme weather events, and if it is necessary, slow down and take extra care," Mr Corboy said.
Severe thunderstorms could bring hailstones and damaging winds to parts of Queensland, prompting authorities to issue warnings after heavy rainfall in several areas.
More than 60mm of rain per hour has been recorded around western Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast and the Bureau of Meteorology has warned flash flooding could occur around central Brisbane, Maroochydore, Logan City, Strathpine, Caboolture, Kilcoy and Caloundra throughout Monday afternoon.
Severe thunderstorm warnings covering areas between Bundaberg and the Gold Coast have been issued. Parts of the Central Highlands and Coalfields districts, including Emerald and Clermont, will likely be hit by large hailstones and damaging wind gusts, according to BoM.
The bureau shouldn't have called the weekend's big wet a "10/10" weather event, Victoria's Emergency Commissioner says.
"I'm not saying the bureau has got it wrong, but '10/10' was overused," Craig Lapsley told ABC Radio on Monday.
"I think that set a bar that was right up there." Melburnians were told to bunker down for an "absolutely massive" rainfall event, with most outdoor events cancelled.
Senior forecaster Scott Williams warned Victorians on Thursday "half the inhabitants of Melbourne have never, ever seen anything like this". Asked to rate the storms out of 10, Mr Williams said "it's going to be pretty close to a 10".
"It is an event that poses a threat to life." But Melbourne was spared the brunt of the storm, with just 107mm of rain recorded at suburban Blackburn, Doncaster and Kew over the three days. Emergency Services Minister James Merlino defended emergency warnings, saying the bureau correctly predicted the amount of rain.
"I'm not going to speak on behalf of the bureau ... (but) it was a significant weather event in terms of rainfall," he told ABC Radio.
"What is hard to predict is the timing of the rain, the intensity when it falls and the location." Regional towns of Myrtleford and Euroa were inundated with rain, with some homes and a caravan park damaged.
A community meeting will be held at Euroa on Monday to discuss clean up plans. The state and federal governments on Sunday announced a disaster assistance package for affected Victorians, while the bureau said the worst of the bad weather had passed.
"In most areas, the worst is well and truly over," forecaster Dean Stewart said.
- with AAP