Dangerous surf conditions whipped up by wild weather

FRIDAY 4.29pm: A developing weather system off the NSW coastline has prompted surf lifesavers and the Bureau of Meteorology to issue a warning for all beachgoers to exercise caution when entering the water over the next few days.

A dangerous surf warning due to a low pressure system off the central NSW coast is in place.

Surf conditions are expected to build from today and throughout the weekend from the Sydney region through to Northern NSW.

Dangerous surf conditions are forecast from Port Hacking to Seal Rocks from this afternoon, shifting to between Newcastle and Tweed Heads for Saturday.

Swells are predicted to peak at around 4-5 metres in some areas, but are forecast to be larger offshore.

NSW Operations Manager Andy Kent urged the public to take the warnings seriously.

"The best advice we can give people is to be aware of their environment and the changing conditions. Take the time to study a recent weather forecast before heading out and let others know what your plans are," Mr Kent said.

Mr Kent urged all beachgoers to be aware of the hazardous conditions, along with rock fishers and boaties.

"We strongly encourage everyone thinking about engaging in an activity on or around the coast to only swim at a patrolled location where lifeguards and lifesavers are on duty.

"With the strong winds and more heavy rain forecast, it might be safer to give the beach a miss this weekend."

General Safety Tips During Dangerous Surf Conditions:

• Avoid rock fishing and water activities on exposed beaches/rock-shelves
• Only swim at patrolled beaches, between the red & yellow flags. Seewww.beachsafe.org.au for patrolled locations/times
• Check the official Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecast before undertaking rock fishing and water activities
• Boaties should seek advice from Marine Rescue NSW and always wear a lifejacket
• If witnessing an in-water emergency dial Triple Zero - Police

 

FRIDAY 12.30PM: FLOOD warnings have been issued for the Northern Rivers with meteorologists predicting continued showers over the weekend.

A low pressure trough lies off  the north coast with a small low pressure centre within that trough.

This low and trough are expected to deepen later Friday in response to an approaching upper-level system, which is expected to bring significant rainfall the Northern Rivers from late Friday.

Weatherzone meteorologist Tom Hough said while temperatures will remain steady, averaging highs of 27 degrees across the Northern Rivers, here's the rainfall you can expect:

Lismore:
"There is a chance of storms for the rest of today and then over the weekend there are showers all the way through to Sunday, with about 10-20 mm each day.

Ballina:
"Showers can be expected throughout the weekend, with slightly more rain for Ballina than Lismore over that period.

"The showers will continue into the beginning of next week as well.

Byron Bay:
"Has a similar forecast but with possible thunderstorms today; rainfall of 20-40 ml for Saturday and the same again on Sunday.

Kyogle:
"Can expect about 10-20 ml of rain over the weekend with possible thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday."

This rainfall coupled with wet catchment conditions has the potential to cause flooding to develop in the following river valleys from late Friday and over the weekend:

Brunswick - minor flooding
Wilsons - minor flooding
Richmond - minor flooding
Clarence - minor flooding
Orara - moderate flooding
Coffs Coast - minor flooding
Bellinger - moderate flooding
Nambucca - minor to moderate flooding
Macleay - minor to moderate flooding

At 11am, a severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall remains in place for Mid North Coast and parts of the Hunter, Metropolitan and the northern Tablelands Forecast Districts.

This flood watch will be reviewed by Saturday, 11am.

 

FRIDAY 6.15am: WHILE weather conditions have been easing since the severe weather event on Wednesday which continues to cause flooding in the region, the rain is not over yet.

In fact, the Northern Rivers is in for a wet weekend, with a chance for things to get wild, especially on the coast.

Today's forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a mostly sunny morning with a 70% chance of showers, most likely during this afternoon and evening.

There is the chance of a thunderstorm during this afternoon and evening with possible heavy falls.

Light winds becoming south to southwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the middle of the day then tending south to southeasterly 15 to 25 km/h in the early afternoon.

Daytime maximum temperatures around 30.

Saturday is set to be cloudy with a 95% chance of showers, and the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

Winds south to southeasterly 15 to 25 km/h increasing to 45 km/h before tending east to southeasterly 25 to 35 km/h during the day.

Overnight temperatures falling to around 19 with daytime temperatures reaching the low to mid 20s.

Large and powerful surf conditions are expected to be hazardous for coastal activities such as rock fishing, swimming and surfing.

Sunday is also set to be cloudy with a 95% chance of showers, with locally heavy falls possible, and the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

Winds east to southeasterly 25 to 35 km/h tending east to northeasterly 20 to 30 km/h during the day.

Overnight temperatures falling to around 20 with daytime temperatures reaching the mid 20s.

The BoM said this was due to a low pressure trough off the central and northern New South Wales coast, with a small low pressure centre within the trough off the central coast.

This low and trough are expected to deepen later today in response to an approaching upper-level system.

Meanwhile, a high pressure system over Tasmania is slowly moving east over the southern Tasman Sea and is expected to extend a ridge to the northwest across the remainder of New South Wales during Friday.

The next low pressure trough will cross the Bight on Sunday, and is forecast to reach western New South Wales on Monday.

 

THURSDAY 6.30pm: CANCELLATIONS are in place for several Northern River venues.

Taco night, at the The Pop Up Mexican Taqueria hosted by The Fox's Palace at Corndale has been cancelled.

The Nimbin stands with Standing Rock protest has been cancelled.

Byron Bay sport fields are all closed while Lismore sport fields are open at hirer's discretion.

 

THURSDAY 4.40pm: WITH easing rain today, the SES have issued a final flood warning for the Wilsons River.

Up to 302 millimetres of rain has been recorded during the 48 hours to 9.00am today over the Wilsons River valley.

Another trough off the north coast is forecast to develop tomorrow and is expected to bring significant rainfall to the Northern Rivers from late Friday and over the weekend.

A Flood Watch for the Richmond and Wilsons Rivers remains current.

Minor flooding is likely along the Wilsons River.

The Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD) is currently peaking below the minor flood level (4.20 m).

At this predicted height there is a high probability that Slater Creek may back up and inundate Pitt Street near the Richmond River Sports Oval in North Lismore.

Latest River Heights:
Leycester Creek at Rock Valley:1.45m, falling 02:56pm 
Terania Creek at The Channon: 1.07, rising 03:16pm
Coopers Creek at Ewing Bridge Corndale: 5.67, steady 03:16pm
Wilsons River at Eltham: 8.15, steady 03:11pm
Wilsons River at Woodlawn (AHD): 5.26, steady 03:05pm
Leycester Creek at Tuncester (AHD): 3.52, steady 03:09 
Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD): 3.33 steady 03:05pm
Richmond River at Wiangaree: 0.27, steady 02:00pm
Richmond River at Kyogle: 1.11, falling 02:00pm
Richmond River at Casino (Automatic Gauge): 0.78, steady, 02:00pm
Richmond River at Coraki: 1.90, steady 10:00am
Myrtle Creek at Rappville: -0.10, steady 12:00pm
Richmond River at Bungawalbyn Junction: 2.02, steady 02:45pm
Richmond River at Woodburn:1.76, steady 02:45pm
 

 

THURSDAY 12.30pm: THE Bureau of Meteorology have issued a Flood Watch for minor flooding in the Brunswick and Richmond River Valleys and minor to moderate flooding for the Wilson River for late Friday onwards.

Potential River predictions from late Friday onwards:

  • Brunswick - minor flooding
  • Wilsons - minor to moderate flooding
  • Richmond - minor flooding

NSW SES are currently monitoring the situation and SES members are preparing for response.

The Richmond Tweed Region have had 149 calls for assistance and have attended to 8 flood rescues from people driving into floodwater.

RELATED:

Current road closures across Northern Rivers

SES 'disappointed' after 8th floodwater rescue in 24 hours

NSW SES Richmond Tweed Region Controller, Andrew McPhee, reminds residents to prepare their properties for possible future heavy rainfall.

"While there is a break in the heavy rainfall, please check that gutters and downpipes are clear, your roof is in good condition and your home emergency kit is stocked and up to date," he said.

NSW SES reminds people to never drive, ride or walk through floodwater as this is the main cause of death during floods.

Take care while driving on our roads over the next few days.

 

THURSDAY 11.45am: UP TO 302mm of rain has been recorded during the 48 hours to 9am today over the Wilsons River valley.

Rain has eased since Wednesday evening, and while the Bureau of Meteorology has cancelled the flood warning for the Wilsons River, a flood watch remains in place for minor to moderate flooding.

A flood watch for minor flood warning is also in place for 

The Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD) is likely to peak around the minor flood level (4.20 m) Thursday afternoon.

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

Latest River Heights:

Leycester Creek at Rock Valley - 1.66m and Steady

Teraenia Creek at The Channon - 1.54m and Steady 

Coopers Creek at Ewing Bridge Corndale - 7.17m and Steady

Wilsons River at Eltham - 8.32m and Steady 

Wilsons River at Woodlawn (AHD) - 5.07m and Steady 

Leycester Creek at Tuncester (AHD) - 3.53m and Steady 

Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD) - 3.24m and Steady 

Richmond River at Wiangaree - 0.32m and Steady 

Richmond River at Kyogle - 1.18m and Rising 

Richmond River at Casino (Automatic Gauge) - 0.76m and Steady 

Richmond River at Coraki - 1.93m and Steady

Myrtle Creek at Rappville - -0.09 and Steady 

Richmond River at Bungawalbyn Junction - 1.82m and Steady

Richmond River at Woodburn - 1.42m and Steady

 

Despite warnings and road closure signs, Lismore City Council have said that motorists still drove through this floodwater on Wyrallah Road.
Despite warnings and road closure signs, Lismore City Council have said that motorists still drove through this floodwater on Wyrallah Road.

THURSDAY 9.30am: POLICE, council and local SES have warned motorists to never drive through floodwaters.

"With the weather the way it currently is, we can expect more road closures and flooding," Senior Constable David Henderson from Richmond Local Area Command said this morning.

"Local police are quite frustrated with some people driving through roads that are flooded and clearly marked as 'closed'.

"Not only are these drivers putting themselves and their passenger at risk of death, they are also putting the lives of police, RFS, SES, Council and VRA staff at grave risk.

"Anyone who is caught doing something this foolish can expect to receive one or more of the following fines.

  • Disobey road access sign" $242, 2 demerit points
  • Not obey direction of Police/Authorised person" $311, 3 demerit points.
  • Contravene notice regulating traffic by passing in vehicle" $104
  •  Willfully disregard barrier regulating traffic" $104
  •  Negligent Driving" $415, 3 demerit points

"Police also have the discretion to charge someone with an offence if they deem the circumstances serious enough."

The NSW SES Richmond Tweed Region said on Facebook this morning that the Northern Rivers area have had six flood rescues to date.

"People continue to risk their lives entering floodwater," they said.

Lismore City Council posted the above photo to Facebook, which was shared by police and SES, with this message:

"This photo shows a car and driver stranded on Wyrallah Road this morning.

"Staff tell us by the wheel tracks around the road closure signs, they are not the only ones to take the chance and cross.

"PLEASE do not drive, ride or walk through floodwater at any time folks.

"It's dangerous and it's just not worth it." 

 

Wilsons River flooding: Susanna Freymark captured this footage of the Wilsons River this morning.

THURSDAY 9am: WHILE weather conditions are easing on the Northern Rivers, emergency services have warned for people to remain alert. 

The video above of flooding of the Wilsons Rivers was captured this morning by reporter Susanna Freymark.

A minor flood warning is still in place for the Wilsons River while a flood warning remains in place for the Brunswick River. 

However, the severe weather warning for the state has been removed.

The immediate threat of severe weather has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should still:

  • Keep clear of fallen power lines.
  • Don't walk, ride or drive through flood water.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • Beware of fallen trees or debris on the road.

The rest of Thursday is set to be cloudy with a 90% chance of rain.

A thunderstorm is likely during this afternoon and evening with possible heavy falls. 

 

THURSDAY 7.10am: THE Northern Rivers is expected to receive heavy rainfall include very heavy localised falls with thunderstorms today.

The Bureau of Meteorology have issued another Severe Weather Warning this morning as the low pressure trough deepens offshore from the NSW north coast.

A band of heavy rain, including localised very heavy rain associated with embedded thunderstorms, is likely to cause flash flooding, the BoM warned. 

Widespread further falls of between 50 to 100 mm is possible until tonight.

No thunderstorm activity is currently occurring along the coast, however embedded thunderstorms and locally higher rainfall rates are likely to redevelop today.

Since 9am on Wednesday many locations in the Mid North Coast and the Northern RIvers have recorded between 100mm to 200mm of rain.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

  • Don't drive, ride or walk through flood water.
  • Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
  • If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
  • For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 11am.

 

THURSDAY 6.15am: LOCALS will be waking up to the sight of a drenched Northern Rivers this morning after a massive day of rainfall, flash flooding, and river flood warnings. 

Since 9am yesterday Lismore has received 90mm of rainfall, while Ballina has copped 134.4mm, Casino 57.8mm, and Byron Bay 162mm, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Goonengerry received the most (listed) rainfall, with a massive 182mm recorded by the BoM

SEE MORE: Current road closures across Northern Rivers

A flood watch (not a flood warning) for minor flooding of the Richmond-Wilsons River remains in place this morning, while a flood warning remains in place for the Wilsons River.

Minor flood warning for the Wilsons River

Up to 275 millimetres of rain has been recorded during the 24 hours to 9pm Wednesday over the Wilsons River valley.

However rain has eased since Wednesday evening. Further rainfall is forecast for the next 48 hours.

This rain is likely to cause minor flooding along the Wilsons River at Lismore from Thursday morning onwards.

The Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD) is likely to reach the minor flood level (4.2 m) Thursday morning.

Latest River Heights:

Leycester Creek at Rock Valley - 2.14m

Teraenia Creek at The Channon - 2.15m 

Coopers Creek at Ewing Bridge Corndale - 8.02m 

Wilsons River at Eltham - 8.13m 

Wilsons River at Woodlawn (AHD) - 4.67m

Leycester Creek at Tuncester (AHD) - 3.11m

Wilsons River at Lismore (AHD) - 2.84m 

Richmond River at Wiangaree - 0.39m 

Richmond River at Kyogle - 0.87m 

Richmond River at Casino (Automatic Gauge) - 0.73m

Richmond River at Coraki - 1.42m

Richmond River at Bungawalbyn Junction - 1.89m

Richmond River at Woodburn - 1.56m

 

WEDNESDAY 2pm:  MORE rain is predicted in the coming days. Here's what's in store for the major towns.

Lismore:

Tomorrow: 19- 26 degrees. 95% chance of rain and chance of a thunderstorm. 18-20 mm.

Friday: 19-26 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 6-15 mm.

Saturday: 19-27 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 8-20 mm.

Sunday: 19-27 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 8-25 mm.

Rainfall hits the North Coast: The rain has saturated the North Coast with water from Lismore up to Billinudgel which was tipped to be the first to experience some flooding. Billinudgel General Store co-owner Jim Hedditch had a chat with us.

Ballina:

Tomorrow: 20-27 degrees. 95% chance of rain and chance of a thunderstorm. 10-30 mm.

Friday: 19-31 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 8-20 mm.

Saturday: 20-28 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 8-20 mm.

Sunday: 20-27 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 8-20 mm.

  Casino:   Tomorrow: 20-28 degrees. 80% chance of rain and chance of a thunderstorm. 2-3 mm.

Friday: 19-31 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 6-15 mm.

Saturday: 19-27 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 10-30 mm.

Sunday: 19-27 degrees. 95% chance of rain. 8-20 mm.

 

WEDNESDAY 1pm: DIFFERENT areas of the Northern Rivers have certainly received their fair share of rain today.

Here is the latest from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Rainfall over the last 24 hours:

Mullumbimby - 128mm

Doon Doon - 114mm

Huonbrook - 126mm

Goonengerry - 182mm

Repentance - 103mm

Nashua 107mm

Lismore - 77mm

Casino - 21mm

Ballina 47mm

Evans Head - 61mm

Byron Bay - 19mm

WEDNESDAY 10.40am: A SEVERE thunderstorm warning was issued at 10.25am by the Bureau of Meteorology embedded in the band of very heavy rain.  

"We do have very heavy rainfall occurring at Mullumbimby as well as other parts of the Northern Rivers," duty forecaster David Barlow said.

"People need to refer to the severe weather warning for the latest updates.

Mr Barlow said with the thunderstorm, more heavy rain was likely and flash flooding highly likely to occur along the North Coast.

"Current forecasts show that the low (producing the rain) will move further south overnight," he said.

"Tomorrow the low will be more along the Mid North Coast but the Northern Rivers will still experience heavy rain."

The next warning is due to be issued by 1:25 pm.

 

WEDNESDAY 10.08am: HEAVY rainfall and locally, very heavy falls are expected in the coming hours. 

A low pressure trough off the New South Wales north coast is deepening, expecting to bring the heavy rain associated with thunderstorms.

Flash flooding is likely in: the Northern Rivers, northern parts of Mid-North Coast and in eastern parts of Northern Tablelands.
24 hour totals of in excess of 100 millimiters are likely, with locally much higher amounts with thunderstorms.

Currently, the heaviest rain is located on radar near Goonengerry in Northern Rivers, to the southwest of Mullumbimby, which has reported 156 mm in the last 3 hours.

Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Sawtell and Dorrigo.

 

WEDNESDAY 8.59am: A SEVERE storm warning and a flood warning have been issued for the Northern Rivers.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued an initial flood warning for the Brunswick River catchment at 8.39am, and a severe storm warning for the Northern Rivers at 8.35am.

They predict severe thunderstorms, likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Lismore, Grafton, Casino, Kyogle, Yamba and Maclean.

The Wilsons River is on flood watch.

At Mullumbimby: Up to 90 millimetres of rain has been observed during the past 6 hours to 8:00 am this morning over the Brunswick river valley.

Further heavy rain is forecast for the next 48 hours, and at this stage it is not possible to predict flood peaks because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall.

Brunswick River: Minor flooding is predicted along the Brunswick River at Mullumbimby.

The Brunswick River at Mullumbimby (Federation Bridge) is likely to reach the minor flood level (2.50 pm) early Wednesday afternoon.

Flood Safety Advice:

FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies, call 000 immediately.

Latest River Heights:

Location Height of River (m) Tendency Date/Time of Observation

Marshalls Creek at The Pocket 0.86 Rising 08:27 AM WED 15/03/17

Lacks Creek at Middle Pocket 2.07 Rising 08:26 AM WED 15/03/17

Marshalls Creek at Billinudgel 0.50 Rising 08:31 AM WED 15/03/17

Mullumbimby Creek at Mullumbimby Creek 1.37 Rising 08:33 AM WED 15/03/17

Brunswick River at Durrumbul 0.82 Rising 08:27 AM WED 15/03/17

Brunswick River at Mullumbimby (Federation Bridge) 0.15 Rising 08:30 AM WED 15/03/17Up to 90 millimetres of rain has been observed during the past 6 hours in the Brunswick River catchment area to 8:00 am this morning over the Brunswick river valley.

Further heavy rain is forecast for the next 48 hours, which could lead to increased flooding.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.

* Don't walk, ride your bike or drive through flood water.

* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.

* Unplug computers and appliances.

* Avoid using the phone during the storm.

* Stay indoors away from windows, and keep children and pets indoors as well.

* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES (NSW and ACT) on 132 500.