East coast low hammering NSW!

The NSW coast is getting pounded by one of the worst storms in years, almost as intense as the system that grounded the Pasha Bulker in Newcastle in 2007.

A cold pool of air has combined with warmer sea surface temperatures to help develop the intense east coast low, which has been bringing very heavy rain and destructive winds to central parts of the NSW coast, especially Sydney and the Hunter. While powerful winds hit parts of Sydney and the South Coast yesterday with a 132kmh gust in Wattamolla and 89kmh at Sydney Airport, today the worst conditions are affecting the Hunter and southern Mid North Coast. This is because the low has deepened and is hovering just off Newcastle.

This morning, Newcastle Nobby’s and Norah Head were both hit with wind gusts of 135kmh which is as strong as a category 1 tropical cyclone. The strongest wind gusts from the east coast low in 2007 was 135kmh at Norah Head and 124kmh in Newcastle. The heaviest 24 hour rainfall total from the Pasha Bulker low was 293.6mm at Mangrove Mountain. This current system has dumped a a higher 309mm in Dungog, the town’s heaviest day of rain since records began in 1897!

Massive rainfall totals in excess of 100mm have been widespread across Sydney and the Hunter. Some notable 24hr rain totals from 9am Monday to 9am today:

Sydney- Wahroonga 174mm, Hornsby 172mm, Turrumurra 167mm, North Parramatta 142mm, Homebush 137mm, Marrickville 123mm, Sydney City  119mm, Warragamba 97mm.

Hunter- Dungog 312mm, Crawford 259mm, Tangorie Mountain 235mm, Wallsend 187mm, Williamtown 156mm, Mereweather 144mm, Wyong 143mm, Gosford 121mm,

What next? Since the low is just off Newcastle, the worst conditions are affecting the Hunter and southern Mid North Coast today and this will last all day. There will be very heavy rain across all areas east of the ranges from the Central Coast up to Taree, including Newcastle, with some place seeing another 100-300mm in just 24 hours.Sydney will also continue to see heavy rain and possible damaging winds. There will be significant river and local flooding from this event.

Apart from the heavy rain and wild winds, may places across Sydney and NSW have experienced their coldest April day in decades with maximum temperatures as much as 12 degrees below the April average! Here are some of the notable chilly April maximum temperatures on Monday:

– Penrith 14 degrees, coldest in 18 years

– Trangie 11 degrees, coldest  in 44 years

– Singleton 15 degrees, coldest in 11 years

– Richmond 15 degrees, coldest in 20 years

– Nyngan 14 degrees, coldest in 53 years

– Horsley Park 15 degrees, coldest in 16 years

– Canterbury 16 degrees, coldest in 18 years

– Camden 14 degrees, coldest in 38 years


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