UPDATE: A severe thunderstorm warning has now been issued for people in far north NSW, as heavy rain continues to lash parts of the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Gunnedah, Moree, Narrabri, Walgett, Coonamble and Lightning Ridge.
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An earlier severe weather warning for NSW has since been cancelled and replaced with this severe thunderstorm warning.
EARLIER: A severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall has been issued for NSW, with large parts of the state currently being lashed by wet weather.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the wild weather is the remnants of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther, which is currently near the Queensland/New South Wales border.
“It’s feeding tropical moisture into NSW and generating widespread rain across much of the state,” the Bureau said.
“Ex-Tropical Cyclone Esther is likely to cross the New South Wales/Queensland border today, intensifying rain about parts of inland and southeast New South Wales, before the system moves over the Tasman Sea by Friday.”
Heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding is possible across parts of inland and southeast NSW today, with the weather bureau warning thunderstorms are also possible, and likely to exacerbate rainfall rates and totals where they occur.
“For areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall also increases the potential for landslips and debris across roads,” BOM said.
“In addition, locally damaging wind gusts in excess of 90 km/h are possible today about eastern parts of the Upper Western, and adjacent areas of the North West and Central West Slopes and Plains. These gusts are most likely with thunderstorms.”
Conditions are expected to gradually clear from the west through today and by Friday morning the rain band will have shifted into the Tasman Sea, though the weather bureau says a few showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue across much of the ranges and coast into Friday afternoon and evening.
Locations which may be affected include Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Deniliquin, Cobar, Bourke and Lightning Ridge.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony.
* Keep at least 8 metres away from fallen power lines or objects that may be energised, such as fences.
* Trees that have been damaged by fire are likely to be more unstable and more likely to fall.
* Report fallen power lines to either Ausgrid (131 388), Endeavour Energy (131 003), Essential Energy (132 080) or Evoenergy (131 093) as shown on your power bill.
* Don’t drive, ride or walk through flood water.
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
* If you are trapped by flash flooding, seek refuge in the highest available place and ring 000 if you need rescue.
* Be aware that run-off from rainfall in fire affected areas may behave differently and be more rapid. It may also contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
* After bushfires, heavy rain and the loss of foliage can make the ground soft and heavy, leading to a greater chance of landslides.
* Stay vigilant and monitor conditions. Note that the landscape may have changed following bushfires.
* For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.