Heavy rain hits the Coffs Harbour city centre this morning.
Heavy rain hits the Coffs Harbour city centre this morning. Trevor Veale

Rain has set in with heaviest hourly falls to come

HEAVY rain is falling across the Coffs Coast in the start of what weather forecasters say should be a seven-day deluge with some of the heaviest, prolonged showers seen on the coast over the past 18-months.

The low pressure trough is delivering widespread falls across Northern NSW today and most importantly some falls to some drought-crippled inland farming communities.

Coffs Harbour was experiencing a rain rate of 5.3mm/hour at noon with constant rain from the heavy showers set to continue.

GRAFTON RADAR

The Bureau of Meteorology says falls of between 100mm and 250mm could be experienced across some parts of the North and Mid North coasts. 

The Bureau has issued flood watch notifications for a number of fast filling river and creek catchments. 

It anticipates minor flood levels to be reached in the Orara river catchment and moderate flood levels in the Bellinger and Kalang catchments.   

A severe weather warning has been issued today for the north coast including Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Port Macquarie, with flash flooding predicted.

Weather forecast warnings: Latest Weather forecast warnings heavy rain on the way.
Weather forecast warnings: Latest Weather forecast warnings heavy rain on the way.

RAIN TOTALS - Thursday since 9am 

Collarenebri 44mm

Coolangatta 35.8mm

Evans Head 32mm 

Cape Byron 25mm

Coffs Harbour 22.2mm

Yamba 18.2mm

Coonabarabran 15mm

Cobar 12mm

Ballina 11mm 

Wellington 9mm

Lightning Ridge 8mm

Wilcannia 9mm

"The heavy totals are falling on the North Coast,  specifically the Northern Rivers and the Mid North Coast both today and Friday and then we will see that system start to move southwards," the Bureau of Meteorology's Mike Funnell said.

 

Coffs Harbour rain by the hour.
Coffs Harbour rain by the hour.

With much of the North Coast drought declared it's expected this system should deliver drought breaking rain for the coast at least, with expectations the classifications for the region should change as a result of this rainfall. 

However, while meteorologists have welcomed falls over fire grounds and drought crippled towns out west, it maintains this system won't be enough to end the statewide drought, particularly in regional inland areas. 

Much of the North Coast is under drought status leading into this heavy rain event.
Much of the North Coast is under drought status leading into this heavy rain event. NSW DPI

SES Flood Safety Advice:

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.

Flood Warnings will be issued if Minor Flood Level is expected to be exceeded at key sites along the main rivers for which the Bureau of Meteorology provides a flood warning service.

Severe Weather Warnings will be issued or updated if very heavy rain is forecast or observed.

For more information on the Flood Watch Service: click here. FloodSafe advice.

The next Flood Watch will be issued by 2pm today. 

SES warning be prepared: Bureau of Meteorology and SES prepare for rain event.
SES warning be prepared: Bureau of Meteorology and SES prepare for rain event.