Flood warnings were issued today as a weather system moved across the state bringing much needed rain to some parts of the Western Division of NSW but also posing a flood risk as it moves south over the weekend.
Top falls of about 60mm were recorded in the north-west corner of NSW, at Hungerford and near Wanaaring with roads cut in many areas and tourists warned to stay clear.
The rain band slowly moved down through the straight in a rare weather event where an occluded front formed as a cold air mass took over a warm front. It didn't deliver quite as much as some expected.
Some of the better falls included Cobar with 22mm,about 15mm up to 3pm at Moree and general falls around 10mm in many north-west and central-west areas - a bit less than predicted, but with the system still very active.
Rain totals at Wagga Wagga were heading towards 10mm at 4pm Friday, while the Southern Tablelands were bracing for a possible deluge in the next two days.
Those in the Western Division who received rain said it will keep their winter herbage going and top up a few dams.
The NSW SES issued several flood warnings from the South Coast to the Upper Murray.
The system will eventually see a low push heavy rain onto the South Coast and Southern Tablelands through Saturday and into Sunday with falls of up to 200mm expected in coastal areas and even drought-hit Cooma getting up to 120mm.
A major flood warning has been issued for the Bega River.
Meantime, it was hit and miss out in the Western Division. In the northern parts there were good falls of over 50mm, but that fell away further south. Many stations reported 15-20mm. Yandama Creek ran for the first time in 1000 days.
Wanaaring store owner Kathy Brown said it rained steadily there from 6pm Thursday until 2.30am Friday. She said a lot of the dirt roads in the area were impassable.
"We're all pretty happy about the rain," she said.
Meantime, southern NSW was put on flood alert.
The NSW SES said: "A complex low-pressure system near the far northwest of New South Wales will track southeast today bringing widespread rain and windy conditions to many areas. During Saturday, the focus will shift to South Eastern New South Wales as a low centre deepens offshore, bringing heavy rain to southern parts of the coast. This low looks set to linger in the region until at least Monday.
"Catchments likely to be affected by flooding are currently near saturation following rainfall earlier in the previous weeks.
Catchments likely to be affected include (Flood Classes (minor, moderate, major) are only defined for catchments where the Bureau provides a flood warning service):
Shoalhaven River (minor flooding)
St Georges Basin (minor flooding)
Moruya and Deua Rivers (minor to moderate flooding)
Bega River (moderate to major flooding)
Queanbeyan and Molonglo Rivers: (minor flooding)."
A sheep grazier's alert has also been issued for most parts of NSW and snow is likely on many parts of the southern and central tablelands.
The Bureau of Meteorology said:
"Sheep graziers are warned that cold temperatures, heavy rain and showers and strong northwesterly winds are expected during Friday and Saturday. Areas likely to be affected include the South Coast, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, Central West Slopes & Plains, South West Slopes, Riverina, Lower Western, Snowy Mountains and Australian Capital Territory forecast districts and parts of the Illawarra and Upper Western forecast districts. There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions."