NSW, Victoria bushfires: How rain, wet weather will affect fires edited by Ferratum

Fire affected areas across NSW and parts of Victoria are expected to see some much-needed rainfall starting from today, but experts have warned the change in weather could present new dangers.

Eastern parts of the country can expect a break in the dry weather, with a large inland trough pulling in humid air and creating significant rain and thunderstorms.

Storms and rain are already impacting parts of central Victoria this afternoon and are expected to move up through NSW tomorrow.

“Over the last week we’ve seen a real shift in the weather pattern,” Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Sarah Scully said.

“From the hot and dry conditions that have unfortunately become all too familiar over the last few months, to much more humid conditions.”

Accumulated totals of 30 to 80 millimetres are forecast, with some areas with thunderstorms predicted to received up to 100mm of rain.

Strong falls are possible for fire grounds in the Snowy Mountains, southwest of Sydney and south coast regions and will likely persist through to the weekend.

Though the wet weather will likely assist fire crews working to contain the blazes, Ms Scully has warned it could be a “double-edged sword”.

“Hopefully some of this heavy rainfall will fall over fire sites and help control or even extinguish fires,” she said.

“But it’s a bit of a double-edged sword because heavy rainfall and gusty thunderstorms bring the potential for flash flooding, particularly in the burnt-out areas of NSW and Victoria which are now vulnerable to landslips and trees coming down.”

Severe weather warnings have been sent out for parts of Victoria already experiencing heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The warning is in place for Port Phillip waters and parts of Mornington Peninsula, Inner, Western and Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula.

The slow moving thunderstorms are producing intense rainfall, damaging winds and could possibly result in large hailstones.

A 110km/h wind gust has been observed at Avalon airport and 44mm of rain and fallen in the area in 30 minutes.

The State Emergency Service has also issued a warning to people in fire affected parts of NSW as the wild weather moves through the state tomorrow.

NSW SES Assistant Commissioner, Paul Bailey is urging residents to prepare for the upcoming wet weather as the risk of flash flooding, falling trees and landslips will be increased.

“While the rain is welcomed, heavy rainfall and storms in fire affected areas can lead to dangerous conditions such as a higher risk of flash flooding, falling trees and landslips,” said Mr Bailey.

“In areas impacted by fires where vegetation has been destroyed, water from heavy rainfall can flow into riverbeds and we could see run off in areas we wouldn’t normally, resulting in flash flooding.

“The NSW SES is also asking residents in fire affected areas to watch for possible landslips as the ground and roads can be damaged, therefore creating a higher risk of a potential slip.”

Areas that receive a significant downpour could also see erosion and run-off into catchments and waterways.

NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the government was using silt curtains to stop heavy rainfall washing ash into Warragamba Dam.

“Our priority is protecting Sydney’s drinking water supplies,” she said in a statement.

“The recent fires threatened significant water infrastructure at Warragamba. While much of the catchment has been affected by fire, work by WaterNSW along with the RFS helped prevent damage to the infrastructure.”

The Bega Valley Shire Council said it would work with the Rural Fire Service to manage any impacts caused by the deluge.

“Weather predictions indicate conditions are favourable over the next week for the containment effort,” the council posted on its Facebook page.

“There is predicted rainfall from Thursday onwards – early indications show the possibility of heavy rainfall which may impact on sediment run-off into waterways.

“This situation is being monitored and planned for by council and RFS.”

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said to protect drinking supplies “filtration and other equipment is being deployed into the water systems”.

Despite the possible problems the wet weather may bring, Mr Fitzsimmons said the rain will also have a very positive impact.

“It’s some pretty good news,” New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

“We’ve been talking about it for months now, that January might see the first fall of decent rain, and that looks like what’s coming along over the next few days.”

The rain is also expected to help lift air quality levels across Victoria, which recently dropped to “hazardous” levels in some parts of the state.

A cool change is expected to pass through Melbourne between 4pm and 6pm, lifting the smoke haze and bringing rain to the city.


Sydney is expected to remain mostly sunny for the rest of the day, with the temperature expected to reach a top of 27C.

The wet weather is predicted to move through the city tomorrow, bringing rain and the chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening.

Canberra is expected to reach a top of 33C, with a smoke haze lingering around the city.

That haze should ease slightly tomorrow when heavy rain comes through the area, along with a possible thunderstorm.

People in Melbournecan expect to see rain and thunderstorms coming through in the afternoon today and continuing into the evening, with a change in wind predicted to lift the smoke haze.

The rain is expected to ease off on Thursday, with a few showers forecast for the morning and a top temperature of 19C.

Brisbane is also predicted to see some rain today, with a shower or two expected throughout the day and a maximum temperature of 28C.

The rain is likely to persist into the weekend and there is a chance of a thunderstorm passing through on Thursday.

Perthwill be mostly sunny for the rest of the week, with today expected to reach a top of 37C and tomorrow forecast for a top of 35C.

Unlike eastern parts of the country Adelaide won’t be seeing any rain over the next few days. It will be mostly sunny heading into the weekend, with a top of 28C today and 25C tomorrow.

It will be a hot day in Hobart today, with the temperature expected to reach 31C. A thunderstorm and rain is predicted this afternoon with a chance of hail in the evening.

However, temperatures are expected to drop on Thursday and are expected to reach a maximum of just 19C.

Darwin can also expect to see some rain today, with the chance of a thunderstorm and gusty winds heading into the afternoon.

There will be less chance of rain on Thursday and Friday, with top temperatures expected to reach 34C.

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