“Severe Rainfall Threatens Significant Flooding in NSW as SES Warns Drivers: Sydney Weather Update”

Severe Weather Alert: Potential Major Flooding Looms for Sydney as Deadly Storm Brings Heavy Rainfall

As a deadly storm system unleashes intense rainfall along the eastern seaboard, parts of Sydney face the looming threat of major flooding. Authorities have issued warnings to drivers, urging them to avoid non-essential travel amid the hazardous conditions.

The convergence of an inland low and coastal trough over New South Wales is expected to trigger heavy localized downpours across much of the state on Friday. Sydney has already experienced its highest daily rainfall in two years, with 111mm recorded in the 24 hours leading up to 9am Friday. The city is on track to surpass its average total rainfall for April before the weekend.

According to Weatherzone meteorologist Angus Konta, the heaviest rainfall is anticipated overnight, likely occurring between midnight and early morning. Forecasters predict that 24-hour rainfall totals could exceed 200mm in Sydney and the south coast, with the possibility of up to 300mm in the Illawarra escarpment overlooking Wollongong.

Major flooding is a significant concern along the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, particularly from late Friday onwards. Penrith may experience rainfall equivalent to one-and-a-half times the April average in just one day.

Transport for NSW has issued a rare advisory urging drivers statewide to avoid unnecessary travel, while the NSW State Emergency Service has cautioned coastal communities from Sydney to Goulburn to remain indoors.

The SES has already conducted seven flood rescues overnight, with the majority involving people stranded in vehicles. More than 550 incidents have been reported across the state in the past 24 hours, primarily related to leaking roofs and guttering.

The severe weather has led to flight cancellations and delays at Sydney Airport, as well as widespread disruptions across the city’s train network. Additionally, nine schools across NSW have been closed due to the adverse conditions.

With almost every river in eastern NSW and numerous rivers in southern Queensland under flood watches or warnings, the situation remains precarious. The interaction of a coastal trough and an upper-level low is exacerbating moisture levels in the atmosphere, further intensifying the storms.

While the system is expected to gradually shift towards NSW’s south coast overnight, persistent showers over the weekend may lead to overflow at Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s largest urban water supply reservoir. Residents are advised to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions as the situation unfolds.

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