Heavy rain to hit NSW ski fields as fog covers south east Queensland

Heavy rains and thunderstorms are forecast to hit New South Wales, which could wipe out snow cover in the Alpine region and increase the risk of flooding in the southeastern part of the state.

Heavy fog blanketed south east Queensland on Thursday morning, causing flight delays.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain and damaging winds in south east NSW, including the snowy mountains, and extending as far north as Victoria.

Jonathan How, a meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, told the Guardian that “we have a powerful cold front sweeping through New South Wales and Victoria today. We saw rains and storms increase last night and this morning. And we’ve already seen some pretty high rainfall totals with some of these storms.”

Alert areas could see six-hour rainfall totals of up to 60mm, with isolated areas including the alpine resorts seeing another 100 to possibly 200mm on Thursday.

As I said, the forecast for Thredbo is potentially up to 200mm today, with rain predicted to wipe out much of the snow cover in the alpine areas “because it’s quite hot and it’s not falling like snow, it’s falling like rain”.

Related: Weather alert: Harmful winds sweep Australia from west to east coast

Thredbo has closed all of its elevators because of conditions.

The department is warning that heavy rains could lead to flooding in Illawarra, southern highlands, Hunter, south coast, central highlands, northwestern slopes and plains, midwestern slopes and plains, southwestern slopes, snowy mountains and Riverina.

As I said melting snow could increase the risk of flooding around the Snowy Mountains because so much water is “trapped in snow and ice”.

“When the snow starts to melt, it will add to the rain that is coming in, mostly over the upper Murray and then all the tributaries in the southern highlands that feed the Murrumbidgee and the Murray River, so really this alpine area. ”

A flood watch is current for areas such as Braidwood, Goulburn, Bombala, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Khancoban and Thredbo top station.

NSW SES Superintendent Barry Griffiths said volunteers at Wagga Wagga were preparing for riparian flooding of the Murrumbidgee River around Tumut and Gundagai.

“We have mobilized two high-clearance vehicles, one fixed wing, and have been engaged with local government agencies in these affected areas since Monday,” he said on Nine Network on Thursday.

Although Canberra is not under the alert, the capital has already recorded 20mm of rain and How said rain is expected to increase this afternoon, with up to 90mm in the forecast.

Thursday also saw extensive fog in south east Queensland.

As I said the fog was due to a high pressure ridge stretching across the south east of the state which is bringing calm conditions with light winds.

How said Thursday morning that fog was reducing visibility to 100m at Brisbane, Amberley and Archerfield airports.

As said harmful wind warnings for southeastern parts of Western Australia and the south coast of Australia remain in effect, including Adelaide.

He said damaging winds would pick up on Thursday, with “a fairly wet pattern across South Australia”, but conditions are expected to improve further on Thursday and Friday.

With the Australian Associated Press

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