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Weather News - Flooding rain hits NSWBen Domensino, 21 March 2018
Rain and thunderstorms have inundated parts of eastern NSW today, causing flash flooding in some areas.
A slow-moving low pressure being fed by copious moisture from the Tasman Sea has triggered the heavy falls.
Intense rain rates of around 70mm per hour were observed at Dungog on Wednesday morning, while Taree Airport collected 20mm in 10 minutes. This is more than enough rain to cause localised flooding.
Persistent and heavy falls saw a whopping 226mm of rain accumulate at Upper Chichester on the Barrington Tops during the six hours to 11am today. This was its heaviest rain in about two years.
Nobbys Head's 50mm between 9am and 5pm today is its heaviest rain since last June, with flash flooding reported around parts of Newcastle.
The heaviest rain will continue to target the Lower Hunter and Lower Mid North Coast overnight and into Thursday morning, with some areas possibly picking up another 100mm on top of what's already fallen.
The trough will continue to cause rain and storms on and east of the ranges north of about the Hunter on Thursday and Friday, producing further heavy falls and flooding.
This week's rain is falling into catchments that were unusually dry, following a lengthy period of below average rainfall in parts of central and eastern NSW.
As the rain clears and floodwaters recede, this week's soaking will have delivered some welcome moisture back into parched soil in the region.
© Weatherzone 2018
Weather News - NSW rain and flooding updateBen Domensino, 22 March 2018
More than 300mm of rain has fallen in parts of eastern NSW during the last two days, resulting in flash flooding.
A low pressure trough moving slowly along the NSW coast brought persistent rain and storms to parts of the Hunter and lower Mid North Coast during the last 36 hours.
The heaviest falls so far have occurred on the Barrington Tops, where a rain gauge at Careys Peak received 339mm during the 48 hours to 9am today. This was the site's heaviest rain in at least nine years.
Nearby, Dungog picked up 287mm during the last 48 hours and Upper Chichester's 233mm in this time fell almost entirely within six hours on Wednesday morning.
Forster's 174mm during the 24 hours to 9am today was it's heaviest rain in 15 years.
Williamtown received 122mm during the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday, which is 1mm short of its entire March average and the heaviest daily rain in two years.
Tocal (124mm), Cessnock (66mm) and Nobbys Head (74mm) also had their heaviest rain since 2016 during the last 24 hours. For Tocal and Cessnock, this was their heaviest daily rain during March in 41 years and at least 22 years, respectively.
Rain and storms will remain heavy over parts of the Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands Districts today and on Friday, with a severe weather warning in place for flash flooding.
Minor river flooding is also occurring in parts of the Lower Hunter today. Fortunately, major flooding is unlikely to develop in the Hunter, despite this deluge. A lengthy spell of dry weather in recent months left river catchments dry before this week's heavy rain started falling.
Visit http://www.weatherzone.com.au/warnings.jsp for the latest severe weather and flood advisories.
© Weatherzone 2018
Weather News - Powerful Cyclone MarcusBen Domensino, 22 March 2018
Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcus became the strongest tropical cyclone in Australian waters for more than a decade this morning.
Marcus has spent the last three days intensifying over open waters to the north of Western Australia, while gradually moving towards the west.
After becoming a top-of-the-scale category five severe tropical cyclone on Wednesday, Marcus got even stronger on Thursday morning, reaching an intensity not observed in Australian waters since 2006.
The Bureau of Meteorology estimated that 10 minute average wind speeds near the eye of Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcus were 230km/h at 8am WST today.
According to historical records, this puts Marcus above the estimated peak average wind speeds of Ernie in 2016 (220km/h), Hamish in 2009 (215km/h), Ita in 2014 (215km/h), Marcia in 2015 (205km/h), Yasi in 2011 (205km/h) and Debbie in 2017 (195km/h).
Marcus is now the strongest tropical cyclone in Australian waters since Severe Tropical Cyclone Monica in 2006, based on average wind speed.
Monica's maximum average wind speed was estimated to be 250km/h, which is still the highest on record for a tropical cyclone in Australian waters.
The strongest tropical cyclone on record in the southern hemisphere based on wind was Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, which produced 10 minute average speeds of 280km/h in the South Pacific during February 2016.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Marcus is expected to start weakening from today as it turns towards the south, causing it to move over cooler waters and into a less supportive environment.
© Weatherzone 2018