As of Wednesday morning, there were still roughly 60 fires burning across NSW, some of which were still out of control.
Within only a week’s time, said Sky News Weatherchief meteorologist Tom Saunders, only a handful of these would remain.
“This rain represents significant drought relief, but it’s also enough to extinguish large bushfires,” Mr Saunders said, adding that the only exception would be on the western side of the state’s southern ranges, where rainfall totals would average below 25mm.
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 4, 2020
A coastal low-pressure trough developing off northern NSW is responsible for the predicted deluge, bringing heavy rainfall from Wednesday as the trough moves south throughout the week.
“Torrential” falls are possible on Friday and over the weekend, with Mr Saunders saying it should be the wettest week for Sydney since March last year.
The downpour could also mark the heaviest February 24-hour rainfall in Sydney since 2002 – when 130mm of rain was recorded on February 5.
The state’s north coast could get as much as 200mm over the next seven days, marking the most rain in that area in over two years.
The Bureau of Meteorology have warned that flash flooding is possible when there is rapid rainfall, and residents in areas subject to flooding should keep up with the forecast.
While fire grounds will no doubt welcome the downpour, people in fire-affected landscapes should also be cautious of increased risk of landslips and tree falls.
Victoria will also pick up on some of the showers and storms later this week, bringing some much-needed wet to the state’s far east, which has experienced significant bushfire devastation.
A humid easterly weather system is also pumping moisture into Queensland, where BOM have activated flood watches for large parts of the state’s southeast.
Mr Saunders said that “basically the whole state” will see heavy rain over the next few days, into the weekend and early next week, except for the absolute far west areas.
Many areas, particularly the coast, will see well over 100mm of rain over the next seven days.
⚠️ #Flood Watch issued for coastal catchments from #Maryborough to NSW border and southern inland. Heaviest falls expected around the #SunshineCoast. Follow the advice of local emergency services @QldFES. See warnings for updates: https://t.co/g3inmKz9li #ifitsfloodedforgetit pic.twitter.com/qY2tjNqGsC
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) February 4, 2020
Forecasters expect over 150mm of rain to fall on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and in Brisbane.
“Persistent widespread showers, thunderstorms and rain areas are expected over southern inland catchments during Wednesday and Thursday, with locally heavy falls,” BOM warned.
“The weather will remain very unsettled towards the end of the week and into next week, with further significant rainfall possible over parts of the Flood Watch area.”
Meanwhile in the nation’s west, a heatwave continues to impact the southern area of Western Australia.
Perth had its hottest day on record in five years on Tuesday, with the mercury climbing over 42C.
A cooler change from the west is pushing onto the coast, expected to drop temperatures on Thursday, when a tropical low should become a cyclone off the state’s north coast.
Mr Saunders said there’s a “fair amount of uncertainty” regarding the future track of the weather system, but it looked like the most likely scenario is that the cyclone would head toward the northwest coast over the weekend.