Weather News

Interesting 24 hours of weather ahead for NSW

Ben Domensino, Thursday May 21, 2020 - 13:10 EST

A cold pool of air passing over NSW is going to cause a dynamic mix of weather during the next 24 hours, with rain, thunderstorms, hail, snow, blustery winds, dangerous surf and severe weather all possible.

Satellite images taken on Thursday morning showed a low pressure system developing over the southern inland of NSW in reponse a pool of cold upper-level air passing above the state. Earlier in the morning, this frigid air mass caused a dusting of snow as it moved over the Victorian alps.

Image: Satellite image showing the low pressure system over southern NSW and a band of cloud over the state's northeast at midday on Thursday.

The combination of this cold air with warmer, moisture laden air to its north was also producing a band of rain-bearing cloud over the northeastern half of NSW on Thursday morning. Some parts of the Central Tablelands had already picked up more than 20mm of rain by 9am on Thursday, with Eugowra receiving 45mm and around 30mm falling near Orange. Further north, Inverell's 24mm was its highest daily total since February.

Looking ahead, rain and thunderstorms will continue to affect parts of northeast NSW into Thursday afternoon and evening, before clearing overnight.

Further south, showers and storms will also persist over parts of central and southern NSW during the rest of Thursday under the pool of cold upper-level air. Temperatures will be low enough for these showers to settle as snow on the NSW alps during Thursday afternoon. There's even a chance that some snow, or a mix of rain and snow, could reach higher areas of central western NSW during Thursday night or Friday morning.

Forecast models suggest that a strong low pressure system will rapidly deepen near the NSW coast during Friday morning. This developing low is likely to cause a burst of heavy rain, powerful winds and large waves along parts of the NSW coast on Friday, particularly during the morning. Some of this weather could become severe.

Image: Accumulated rain between Thursday morning and Friday morning, combined with mean sea level pressue on Friday morning, according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

The low should start to move away from the coast during Friday or Saturday, allowing conditions to ease. However, blustery winds and hazardous surf will linger along the NSW coast during the weekend, gradually spreading towards the north.

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