Overnight drenching for the NSW Mid North Coast

Craig McIntosh, 27 December 2017

Thunderstorms were triggered over the Mid North Coast of NSW late last night, bringing record rainfall in a very short period of time, especially for Port Macquarie.

Thanks to an upper trough centred right over the area, severe thunderstorms were able to ignite late in the evening, adding to substantial rain that fell during thunderstorms earlier in the day. Between 9am and 2pm on Tuesday, Port Macquarie Airport received just over 73mm of rain. That amount alone was the town's heaviest day of rain in 9 months. There was a brief reprieve from the rain throughout the afternoon and into the evening, however around 10pm the thunderstorms were back, this time with even heavier rain.

By midnight, over 30mm had been added to the earlier falls, which was only a prelude to the drenching yet to come. A severe thunderstorm warning for heavy rainfall potentially leading to flash flooding was issued just after 1am this morning for the Mid North Coast, although the heavens had already well and truly opened. Between 12:30am and 1:30am, over 61mm fell. By the time the thunderstorms had run out of puff, 196.8mm of rain was captured at Port Macquarie Airport, a new 24 hour record. There was almost 25,000 lightning strikes in a 50km radius of Port Macquarie between 9am Tuesday and 4am Wednesday.

Although not receiving as much as Port Macquarie, nearby areas also got a fair share of the raindrops. Rain gauges at Logans Crossing and Mooral Creek recorded rainfalls of 152mm and 128mm respectively since 9am Tuesday. Taree Airport recorded over 84mm of rain since 9am Tuesday, its heaviest December day of rain in 15 years.

Showers may linger this morning in the wake of the severe thunderstorms, however conditions will soon ease. The next threat of thunderstorms look to be on Saturday as another trough passes over the region.

- Weatherzone

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