Rain's tops, that's the short and tall of it

Another rain event from Friday and it's going most places

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The Hunter Valley's top thoroughbred studs at Scone also welcomed the big rain event last week. More is on the way from Friday. Photo by Karla Leen.

The Hunter Valley's top thoroughbred studs at Scone also welcomed the big rain event last week. More is on the way from Friday. Photo by Karla Leen.

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All of the Hunter Valley finally gets a full soak, more on way

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With another rain event to hit wide parts of the state from Friday, crops are sitting pretty and dams not already full are at least close to full in many areas.

Rain last week brought heavy falls to the coast, but also was most welcome inland in such places as the Upper and Lower Hunter that has been in devastating drought for three years.

Rising water closed the Glenbawn causeway for the first time in seven years, parts of Scone studs were awash, the Hunter rose, canola crops out at Merriwa, already fence high, received a top up, and Murrurundi farmers finally got some relief.

Karen and Mark Campbell can say their canola crop is higher than their daughter Lucy, 4, at Merriwa.

Karen and Mark Campbell can say their canola crop is higher than their daughter Lucy, 4, at Merriwa.

Merriwa so far this year has had nearly 180mm above its average rainfall at over 540mm, and agronomists say crops are looking their best for five or six years. The Campbells, Woodlands, are growing their best canola crop since 2016, set to reap three tonnes a hectare at harvest.

The best news with the rain bands is that it has been good steady rain. An "amazing" band of tropical moisture heading down from the north-west will hit a cold air mass moving up from the Southern Ocean. Hopefully it will bring relief to parts of the Western Division that has not seen good rain since 2016.

The Hunter River at Singleton was running strongly. Photo by Louise Nichols/Singleton Argus.

The Hunter River at Singleton was running strongly. Photo by Louise Nichols/Singleton Argus.

From late Thursday into Friday remote areas such as Tibooburra are forecast to get at least 15mm. There will be storms in the system that may affect areas from Cobar to Moree, with possibly heavy falls.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Helen Reid said most of the state will get 20-25mm from Friday. Heavier falls will ensue on the South-West Slopes, Southern Tablelands and South Coast as the system moves through, with rain continuing there into Monday, with some totals over 100mm for the four days. "Most of the state will get 20-25mm, with some significant totals in other areas," Ms Reid said. "Again it will be good steady rain."

Cold winds and possible snow will move up parts of the ranges on Saturday, bringing possible snow as far north as the Northern Tablelands. A sheep grazier's warning is likely to be issued for the southern, central and northern tablelands on Saturday.

Western Division station owners were preparing for the rain event.

Lachlan Gall, Langawirra, said: "There's a bunch of us racing around getting pre rain jobs done. I did drains with the grader, my mate up the road is doing a contracting job on his D6 dozer, and there's a multitude of other earthmoving and stockwork jobs going on. Lots of anxious people out this way, because some have not had any rain for three months, and some have not had any effective rain since September 2016."

Meantime, motorists on Wednesday were advised to prepare for adverse driving conditions and expected road closures due to heavy rainfall forecast across far west NSW.

Transport for NSW Director West Alistair Lunn said the Bureau of Meteorology has advised heavy rainfall is expected this week with potential widespread impacts on the 2850 kilometre network of unsealed roads in the Far West NSW, with many expected to close.

"Motorists in these regions are advised to delay travel unless necessary, check the road conditions before travelling, be extra cautious and drive to the conditions," Mr Lunn said.

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