Days of Torrential Rain Lead to Major Flooding in New South Wales!
A persistent pattern of heavy rainfall has led to record-breaking rainfall totals over much of eastern New South Wales in the past week. Although the rain has finally diminished, runoff is filling up rivers, leading to major flooding. Thousands of evacuations have been forced to keep local residents safe from the roiling floodwaters.
An upper low was nearly stationary over northern New South Wales from late last week through the weekend. Meanwhile, persistent onshore flow brought rich tropical moisture in from the north and east. This combination led to several days worth of abundant rainfall. Some stations in eastern NSW saw 5-day totals approach 1,000 mm (see table above). The station at Redoak tallied 371 mm in one day! These widespread heavy rains have already lead some rivers to rise to major flooding levels. Whole communities have been inundated, forcing at least 18,000 people to evacuate their homes. And humans aren’t the only species fleeing to avoid the rising waters (see tweet below).
Flooding in New South Wales, Australia has brought all the spiders scurrying out to avoid drowning.
Video by Matt Lovenfosse. pic.twitter.com/D2InyxIxGQ
— spamdemic (@spamnugget) March 23, 2021
Huge flooding issues unravelling right now in New South Wales, Australia 🇦🇺
This is Taree (between Sydney and Brisbane) as the Manning River bursts. An extreme contrast to the ferocious fire season a year ago.
— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) March 21, 2021
Although the rain has come to an end, water will continue to flow into the major rivers with additional rises through the next few days. Additional evacuations are standing by to evacuate as a result. Clean-up is predicted to last for several weeks, if not through April. Agricultural authorities suggest the soaking rains will hamper summertime crop yields, but could prove beneficial in the longer term for wheat and other fall to winter crops.