LATEST: Minor flood warning issued as rain sets in
UPDATE, 3pm: THE Richmond River at Kyogle is expected to exceed its minor flood level this evening as rain continues to fall across the region.
A flood warning has since been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology in line with the prediction.
"An average of 100mm of rain has fallen over the Richmond catchment during the past 15 hours to noon today," the Bureau noted.
"Further rain is forecast for the next six hours."
"At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peak because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall."
Rainfall totals continue to climb across the Northern Rivers with one location between Lismore and Murwillumbah copping a drenching.
The rain gauge on Williams Rd at Lillian Rock has received 69mm in the last five hours, with areas along the Border Ranges in Tweed Shire, Numinbah and Chillingham, exceeding 50mm.
The Bureau of Meteorology's rain radar shows a broad band of rain moving across the whole region in a south easterly direction.
The rain band originated in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The Bureau has also issued a strong wind warning for the Byron coast, coinciding with the development of a low pressure system off the coast this evening.
Winds of up to 60kmh are expected tonight.
The current forecast has the low pressure system moving rapidly east away from the coast tomorrow morning, bringing south to southwesterly winds.
The Bureau says a high pressure system will then develop over southeastern Australia during Friday and Saturday, bringing calmer weather.
UPDATE, noon: PARTS of the Northern Rivers can expect another 20-30mm of rain during today before showers slowly ease this afternoon, with a flood watch for the Wilsons and Richmond catchments to remain in force for most of the day.
"It's going to continue for a few hours yet but there is a strong indication it's going to clear this afternoon," forecaster Michael Bath from Northern NSW Severe Weather said.
"There is a low along the coast but all it's done is freshen the wind along the coast, it's hasn't contributed to the rainfall totals."
A trough line more than 2000km long stretching from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Northern Rivers was responsible for the today's downpour, according to Mr Bath.
The trough would likely give birth to a low pressure system off the coast today, but by the time it forms, about 200km offshore its impact was expected to be minimal.
"It's likely to contract out to the south east quite quickly," Mr Bath said.
There is no snow on the radar either, much to the disappointment of severe weather watchers. Temperatures across the Northern Tablelands are too warm.
Mr Bath said while the rainfall totals had been above 70-100mm in some places, that was due to consistent light to moderate falls rather than heavy rain, so no flash flooding was expected.
He said the rain was averaging about 5-8mm per hour as opposed to the 20-30mm per hour.
"The totals have got up there but there hasn't really been any heavy stuff in it.
"When you're talking 100mm in a few hours that's when you get your flash flooding."
The Tweed-Byron State Emergency Service duty officer has been contacted for comment.
Northern Rivers residents can expect to wake up to sunshine tomorrow as the rain clears, with fine weather expected for the next week.
UPDATE, 11.10am: ROADS around Lismore, Casino, and in Byron Shire have water over them following heavy falls this morning, with the State Emergency Service advising motorists take extreme caution.
According to the Myroadinfo website, the following roads are affected.
Lismore Local Government Area:
- Cusack Rd, North Lismore - caution
- Nimbin Rd Goolmangar - caution
- Jiggi Rd, north and south of Jiggi Public School - caution
- Musgraves Rd 300m in from Manifold Rd, North Casino - caution
- Short St Casino - flooded, road is closed
- Repentance Creek Rd, Repentance Creek - washout on one side of the road, drive with caution
- Myocum Rd and James Lane, Myocum - water over road west of James Lane - caution.
UPDATE 10.25am A FLOOD watch has been issued for the Richmond and Wilsons River by the Bureau of Meteorology in the wake of heavy falls this morning.
The flood watch was issued at 9.32am.
According to the Bureau, showers from the current low pressure system will ease during Wednesday afternoon but will be followed up by a second low during Wednesday afternoon, bringing more heavy rainfall to parts of the coast until tomorrow morning.
"This weather system has the potential to cause minor flooding in the Richmond and Wilsons Valleys from Wednesday afternoon onwards," it said.
River heights at Kyogle, Casino, Lismore, Coraki are all rising but still well below flood level.
Several districts in both the Upper Richmond and WIlsons catchment received heavy falls overnight and this morning of more than 70mm.
Loadstone north of Kyogle received the highest 24-hour total of 101mm, while Terania Creek received 77mm.
"This Flood Watch means that people living or working along rivers and streams must monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings and be ready to move to higher ground should flooding develop," the Bureau said.
"Across NSW, about 70% of Flood Watches are followed by flooding."
FloodSafe advice is available at www.ses.nsw.gov.au. For emergency assistance call the SES on telephone number 132 500.
UPDATE 7.50am: NSW SES Richmond Tweed Region has urged residents to monitor weather conditions and to exercise caution should the weather conditions deteriorate.
The SES said residents could reduce risks to personal safety and property damage by staying clear of creeks and stormwater drains, not driving through floodwater, by moving cars under cover and away from trees, and by remaining indoors where possible during severe weather conditions.
NSW SES Richmond Tweed Deputy Region Controller, Wayne Pettit said, "Although the forecasted rain this week is not predicted to be severe, flash flooding is still a potential across the Region, so please be mindful of your surrounds and always keep clear of flood waters."
Information on how residents can prepare for severe weather can be obtained by visiting the NSW SES website www.ses.nsw.gov.au.
For emergency assistance in storms and floods call the NSW SES on 132 500 and in life threating situations call triple zero.
WEDNESDAY 6.20am: THE Northern Rivers has experienced near-constant rainfall overnight, from showers to heavy downpours - and it's not expected to stop anytime soon.
The rain is due to a low pressure trough sitting pver northeastern New South Wales which is expected to deepen into a low pressure system later today off the central coast, the Bureau of Meteorology report.
During the first half of Thursday the low will move rapidly east away from the coast as a high pressure system over the Bight moves east and extends a ridge across the State.
Since 9am yesterday, Lismore has received 59.6mm of rain, Ballina has received 28.8, Byron Bay 43.8mm and Casino 37.4mm.
Forecast for the rest of today:
Cloudy with a near 100% chance of rain, becoming less likely this evening.
Winds south to southeasterly 15 to 25 km/h becoming light in the morning then becoming northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the late evening.
Daytime maximum temperatures around 17.
Forecast for tomorrow:
Mostly sunny with a 30% chance of a shower in the south at night.
Near zero chance of rain elsewhere.
Winds west to northwesterly 15 to 25 km/h tending west to southwesterly 20 to 30 km/h before dawn then becoming light in the late evening.
Overnight temperatures falling to around 10 with daytime temperatures reaching the low 20s.