Even worse weather threat looming
Sydney has seen its single heaviest period of rain for 28 years over the last day and forecasters have warned that while the incessant downpours will ease they could be followed by a band of storms that could fill the gauge right up again.
A severe weather warning is in place for the entire east coast of New South Wales for damaging winds, driving rains, flash flooding and abnormally high tides.
In Queensland, storms are brewing that could see 150mm of rain descend on Brisbane this week.
And off in the distance a new threat is brewing with a fresh cyclone having just formed off Australia's eastern seaboard. Forecasters have said this low could move unusually far south, off the coast of NSW even, bringing far more wind and rain.
The coastal trough, the culprit behind Sydney's sodden Sunday, will continue to make its way down the east coast of Australia today.
The heaviest rain is likely to be felt on the NSW south coast and Canberra, while Melbourne could see moisture in the coming days.
But it's unlikely to compare to the absolute soaking Sydney, the Central Coast and the Illawarra received yesterday.
"It was torrential rainfall, all day. More than 80 per cent of Sydney suburbs received between 100 - 200mm of rain," said Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Rob Sharpe this morning.
"The CBD (which received 176mm of rain yesterday) saw its heaviest rain since 1992, 28 years ago.
"Ingleburn (in the city's west) saw 245mm of rain which looks to be the heaviest for Sunday," Mr Sharpe told news.com.au.
Over the last three days a huge 310mm of rain has fallen on Sydney's CBD. That's more than three time the city's average February rain in just a few days.
Here are the rainfall amounts in #NSW since 9am yesterday. The red dots indicate 100mm of rain PLUS. Totals are mind blowing. #Sydney has recorded the heaviest rain in nearly 3 DECADES from this event. What a summer of extremes. #NSWFloods @SkyWeatherAUS pic.twitter.com/cIGCtkMM6H— Samantha Chiari (@samanthachiari) February 9, 2020
The wind also whipped up bringing down trees and power lines and damaging buildings. Swollen rivers led to homes being evacuated across Sydney. A gust of 107km/h was recorded at North Head.
Around 140,000 homes in northern and south western Sydney and the Central Coast are without power. Meanwhile, roads and railway lines are flooded causing delays across the network.
WHERE THE RAIN WILL HIT THIS WEEK
A severe weather warning is in place for the entire NSW coast with heavy rain that will likely cause potentially "life threatening" flash flooding on Monday. Authorities have pleaded with people not to drive through flooded waters after scores of motorists were rescued yesterday, including a couple whose car was dragged into the Parramatta River and had to escape through the boot.
Flood waters could contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks, the Bureau of Meteorology has said. Landslips are a real possibility due to loose waterlogged soil.
Sydney is looking at 25mm of rain today and as much as 70mm over the next week.
"We're seeing some pretty substantial rain but this system is going to peter out as the main trough moves south," Mr Sharpe said.
"It's not going to be constant rain. It'll be bits and pieces but there will still be some pretty substantial totals, as much as 100mm in the coming week but this will be due to more isolated heavy falls."
That's because the coastal trough will be replaced by an inland trough. These often carry storms that deliver their rain in bursts. However, some of these storms could be relatively slow moving leading to more localised heavy falls.
"The surf is still pretty large and we could see more flooding and evacuations as well," he said.
There will be patches of sun in Sydney this week but expect rain every single day. Temperatures will be steady with highs of around 28C.
Canberra could see 60mm of rain over the next couple of days with storms.
Brisbane has seen around 40mm of rain on the weekend after a 100mm pelting on Friday. Keep the umbrella handy because around 30mm could fall every day this week for a combined total of 150mm. Storms are possible up and down the Queensland coast.
BIG THREAT COMING
On the horizon is an even bigger threat. A swirling mass of air in the Pacific has now formed into Cyclone Uesi. It's currently building up its strength between Vanuatu and New Caledonia and is heading towards Australia.
Forecasters have warned the waters off eastern Australia are unusually warm and that could give Uesi the momentum it needs to drift further south, possibly from tropical Queensland all the way down to around coastal NSW bringing more rain and wind.
Showers in Melbourne this week, some heavy, although not Sydney-scale rain. Expect as much as 35mm of moisture. Temperatures in the mid-twenties. Much the same in Hobart but a little cooler around the 20-25C mark.
Sunny and partly cloudy in a dry and pleasant Adelaide; temperatures heading towards 30C. A hot week in Perth with blue skies and highs of around 34C. Sunny with afternoon storms in Darwin with highs of 34C.
SEVERE WEATHER WARNING: for Damaging Winds, Heavy Rain, Abnormally High Tides & Damaging Surf for Illawarra, South Coast and parts Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Hunter, Metropolitan, Southern Tablelands and Snowy Mountains Forecast Districts. Warning: https://t.co/nAKm6XkjoQ pic.twitter.com/omV4cbSmdH— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) February 9, 2020