North Wall at Ballina gets battered during a recent storm.
North Wall at Ballina gets battered during a recent storm. contrib

Which areas will cop the worst of tomorrow's severe weather?

IF YOU you are blessed with ocean views from your place, you'd better batten down the hatches.

The coastal fringe of the Northern Rivers is forecast to receive a battering late Wednesday and into Thursday as a rapidly moving East Coast Low skirts our coastline.

Anyone living from Yamba to Tweed Heads can expect to see frequent gusts of 100km/h along with destructive surf and sideways rain.

The East Coast Low is expected to form around Coffs Harbour on Wednesday before moving north, sitting off Tweed Heads by Thursday morning before rapidly moving away off the coast and weakening during the day.

Veteran sky watcher Michael Bath from Northern NSW Severe Weather said the coastal fringe would also cop the biggest deluge with rainfall dumps expected to top 100mm.

The rain is expected to rapidly ease further inland, with Mr Bath predicting just 50mm in Lismore, and half that again in Casino and Kyogle.

"Once you get 20-30km inland, it's going to taper off a fair bit," he said.

"The focus of it looks very southerly, when tends to have all the showers lined up just clipping the coast... and not pushing way inland."

There are still questions over when and where the low will form, however, which will in turn influence where it's most severe impacts will be felt. East Coast Lows are extremely dynamic and unpredictable systems - even less predictable than cyclones.

In its warning the Bureau of Meterology has predicted peak gusts in excess of 90 km/h along the coastal fringe during Wednesday.

 

COASTAL WARNING: The Bureau of Meterology is forecasting heavy rain, damaging winds, and large waves on the North Coast late Wednesday.
COASTAL WARNING: The Bureau of Meterology is forecasting heavy rain, damaging winds, and large waves on the North Coast late Wednesday. BOM

It's also flagged localised damage and coastal erosion from the surf, particularly on south facing beaches.

With a 1.76m high tide on Wednesday night, there is good chance of some serious erosion from the powerful 3m plus swells.

All in all it adds up a serious weather bomb targeted at the coast.

"Beach conditions in these areas could be dangerous and people should stay well away from the surf and surf exposed areas," the Bureau of Meterology warns.

Michael Bath said it wasn't uncommon for a northward travelling East Coast Low to develop in August, with two systems in August 2014 helping push Ballina's monthly rainfall to more than 600mm that year.