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Sydney weather: Heavy rain continues as drought-stricken NSW farmers celebrate

Friday October 5, 2018 - 23:30 EST
ABC licensed image
Residents of the Dubbo region say the downpour is too late to save their crops but will do wonders for their spirits. - ABC licensed

Record rainfall has fallen across parts of Sydney with heavy rain expected to continue into the weekend.

Baulkham Hills in Sydney's north-west experienced a record for October rainfall in the region with 68 millimetres falling since Thursday, the Bureau of Meteorology said.

"The trough that's causing all this rain is a very slow-moving feature and it will be with us for a couple of days yet," meteorologist Jake Phillips said.

"Quite a lot of our stations in western Sydney got over 50mm, through the course of Thursday evening mostly."

He said the trough was starting to weaken, making it unlikely Sydney would see really high rainfall totals continue, but it would be a wet weekend for parts of the east, particularly north-east New South Wales.

Farmers in drought-stricken parts of NSW have been celebrating the wet weather's arrival.

Several areas across the city received at least 70mm of rain overnight, including Sydney Olympic Park and Peakhurst, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Some of the highest totals were recorded in the Illawarra, including at Mount Pleasant near Wollongong which received 77mm.

"Expect a very wet day in Sydney, with rainfall easing during the afternoon and evening," forecaster Rob Taggart said.

The BOM said flash flooding was possible in some areas of the state's north east but the bureau is most concerned about thunderstorms in that region.

The hotspots for rain will be the central eastern districts, from Wollongong.

The heavy rain on Thursday night kept the SES busy with 129 calls for assistance and volunteers responding to many leaking roofs around the Sydney Metro area, Illawarra and South Coast.

The downpour could also lead to higher levels of pollution in swimming sites.

"Many swimming sites in Sydney, Hunter, Central Coast & Illawarra are likely to be impacted by stormwater pollution due to recent heavy rain," the State Government's Beachwatch service warned.

Farmers in the Dubbo region have been ecstatic over the rain, after one of the driest years on record.

About 45mm or rain fell in the town between 9:00am on Thursday and 5:00am on Friday, according to forecasters

"Dubbo has had a particularly dry year — the driest on record up until the end of September — so that will be very welcome news for Dubbo," Mr Taggart said.

Ecstatic residents have been sharing images and saying it's a huge boost to their mindset.

Tracy Blackman, who shared images of muddy water covering a road west of Dubbo, said her rain water tanks were all but full.

"It's too late for our crops that have hung on and hung on," she posted on Facebook.

"However this will brighten things cattle and sheep wise and by golly it brightens my spirits!"


© ABC 2018

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