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Heavy rain and damaging winds strike Sydney

Josh Fisher, Sunday February 24, 2013 - 07:07 EDT

An intense band of rainfall pushed through Sydney overnight, causing flash flooding, which was also accompanied by damaging wind gusts of over 90km/h.

The band of very heavy rainfall moved across the Sydney Basin just after midnight. The bursts of rain amounted to as much as 13mm in just 10 minutes at Canterbury and 8mm in a similar time in the city. Rain at this rate led to areas of flash flooding throughout the Basin.

The heavy rain was also accompanied by damaging wind gusts that tore down trees from the sodden ground. These gusts reached as high as 96km/h at Sydney Observatory Hill, 91km/h at the airport and a station on the harbour even reported a gust to 135km/h.

This burst of rainfall came after what was already a wet and consistently windy day through the city. During the past 24 hours, widespread totals of 30-70mm were recorded with the highest over northern and western suburbs.

Further west, Blackheath has recorded 173mm since 9am on Saturday, which is its highest daily totals in at least 17 years.

The band of heavy rain cleared from Sydney just after 1am and continued to track south along the coast. Albion Park near Wollongong recorded 18mm in just 10 minutes as the band moved through and Nowra then had 16mm in 10 minutes.

The low pressure system responsible for the heavy rainfall and damaging winds through eastern parts of New South Wales is now weakening over land, allowing conditions to ease.

A low pressure system will remain in place over the state during the next few days and with the moisture laden airmass, thunderstorms are likely to develop. These storms will become scattered during the afternoon across central and eastern parts of the state and could bring localised heavy falls.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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