A merry but soggy Christmas for NSWMellissa Mackellar, Wednesday December 26, 2012 - 10:11 EDT
Widespread rain saw folks barbecuing by umbrella across the state on Christmas day with some towns seeing their heaviest December rain in years.
A broad low pressure trough brought widespread showers and thunderstorms to much of the state's east. More than 50,000 lightning strikes were recorded state wide, accompanied by some very heavy downpours and damaging wind gusts.
Murrurundi recorded 61mm of rain to 9am on Boxing Day, with as much as 12mm falling in just three minutes. This is the most rain the town has seen during December since 2008. A wind gust of 96km/h was also recorded. This is strong enough to uproot trees and cause structural damage to buildings.
Dorrigo had 88mm in their gauge, marking their heaviest falls since January. Mudgee also copped a deluge with 5mm in two minutes and 63mm all up, while Grafton had their highest rain since February with 45mm.
In the Sydney area the heaviest rain was in the north. Gosford received 43mm, the most rain they've seen since April. Turramurra, Avalon and Frenchs Forest saw their highest falls since at least winter, all picking up 31mm.
For Sydney city 22mm meant it was the wettest Christmas day since 1942. It was also the coldest Christmas in five years, only reaching 21 degrees.
The low pressure trough moved into the northeast corner of the state overnight, taking much of the action with it. Today the focus of showers and storms will be on the Northern Rivers, Northern Tablelands and Southeast QLD areas.
A high pressure ridge is now building over the state's south, causing showers to clear and leading to a mostly sunny day on Thursday. Storms should develop across the north again on Friday.
© Weatherzone 2012
More breaking news
Water is flowing into outback Lake Eyre, but somewhat differently from past flooding of the remote saltpan, travel guide Rex Ellis says.
A strong and complex low is moving over New Zealand and has been generating heavy rain, isolated thunderstorms and gale force winds.
The sunrise this morning likely made the ancient sandstone formation of Uluru glow a glorious red at dawn, although cloud and rain from today should lead to more demure morning displays for the next couple of days.