Weather News

Wet week (probably) for NSW north coast

Ben Domensino, Wednesday February 17, 2021 - 15:52 EDT

More than 100mm of rain could fall along parts of the NSW north coast during the coming week, although uncertainty is high with this developing system.

All weather events have a degree of uncertainty. Computer models sometimes agree on what's going to happen and sometimes they don't. The more the models diverge, the harder it is to accurately predict the impacts of an upcoming weather event.

Over the coming days, onshore winds feeding into a low pressure trough will cause showers in parts of easern NSW and southeast Queensland. Most of these showers will fall on the eastern side of the Great Dividing Range.

From the weekend, a number of models suggest that a low pressure system could develop somewhere off the coast of southern Queensland or northern NSW. This low could become a focus of heavier rain and stronger winds. However, model uncertainty makes it difficult to know just how much this low will impact eastern Australia.

Some forecast models show the low forming too far offshore to have much of an impact on Australia's eastern seaboard. However some other models show the low moving closer to the coast, which would cause more intense and potentially severe weather.

Below are three maps showing the total forecast accumulated rainfall that's predicted during the next six days, from three different computer models.

Images: Forecast accumulated rain between today (Wednesday) and Monday next week, according to the ACCESS-G (top), ECMWF (middle) and GFS (bottom) forecast models.

As you can see in the images above, there is some disagreement about how much will fall. Some models suggest around 50-80mm could fall in northeast NSW between now and next Monday, while others predict upwards of 200mm for the same area.

More accurate information will become available as new model data is released in the coming days. Warnings may also be issued later this week or early next week if severe weather develops.

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