Flash Flooding Warnings As More Heavy Rain Lashes East Coast And Fire-Hit Areas
Storms and heavy rain are continuing to hit Southeast Queensland after a record-breaking downpour, with similar conditions expected to hit drought and fire-stricken parts of NSW and Victoria.
Storms have continued to pepper southeast Queensland overnight with heavy falls recorded on the Sunshine Coast and the Wide Bay area.
The weather bureau warns the storms will continue throughout Sunday but the rainfall is likely to be far less, with falls of up to 40mm predicted.
"We could see showers and thunderstorms developing throughout the afternoon but we're not expecting rainfall rates to be as intense," meteorologist Kimba Wong told AAP.
Falls of 20 to 40mm are predicted for the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
"Possibly a little bit higher if you do get a storm roll over you," Ms Wong said.
Overnight, areas around Bundaberg in the Wide Bay-Burnett region were the hardest hit, with 95mm of rain falling in the six hours to midnight.
Collum on the Sunshine Coast also received a drenching, with 91mm of rain recorded.
"The Gold Coast pretty much missed out last night, which is probably a good thing - just a couple of light rainfall totals of 5 to 10mm," Wong said.
"Most of the action was around the Sunshine Coast, where there may have even been some flash flooding just because the land was already so wet from the night before."
Flooding continues to subside on the Gold Coast after some areas recorded triple their usual monthly rainfall on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The deluge hit Loders Creek the hardest with 325mm of rain falling in 12 hours, and more than 200mm recorded in parts of the Gold Coast Hinterland.
The heavy rainfall also left thousands of motorists trapped in traffic gridlock after the M1 Motorway was cut for almost seven hours on Saturday.
It reopened just after 1pm.
New South Wales
Parts of NSW have been warned of potentially severe thunderstorms as rain continues to fall across drought-stricken areas.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned thunderstorms are expected to hit northeastern NSW on Sunday afternoon which may bring heavy rain and severe weather to the Mid North Coast and Northern Tablelands regions.
The state's Northern Rivers region has been soaked throughout the weekend by 169mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday.
Meteorologist Bimal KC said the rain had settled a bit on Sunday morning.
"We've had light falls, maybe five to 10mm in eastern parts of the state," he told AAP on Sunday.
Downpours over the past few days have provided relief for parts of drought-stricken NSW but the bushfire-ravaged South Coast and Snowy Valley have remained relatively dry in comparison.
But this could change on Monday with thunderstorms forecast for the state's southeast.
"There is a chance of thunderstorm activity tomorrow with damaging winds in the southeast part of the state," KC said.
The rain has eased conditions for fire crews with the number of active bushfires in NSW dropping to 69, with 19 yet to be contained.
Crews are working to strengthen containment lines ahead of an expected increase in fire conditions later in the week.
Bushfire-ravaged parts of Victoria could now face the possibility of flash flooding as the state is expecting its wettest two-day period in months.
Heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail are possible in eastern parts of the state including East Gippsland where fires continue to burn.
"We're going to see some potentially flash flooding and severe thunderstorms over the next couple of days, including some damaged fire areas," Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville warned on Sunday.
The weather bureau confirmed the state was about to be hit by downpours but the rainfall would be "hit and miss" and unlikely to put out blazes.
"Victoria is about to see its wettest two-day period in many, many months," Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Narramore said on Sunday.
"It will also impact fire zones as well," he said and a flood watch would be in place for eastern parts of the state from Sunday afternoon.
While rain is welcome it could be "hit and miss" with totals varying between 5mm to 15mm but "isolated falls" of 30mm to 50mm could hit certain areas, Narramore said.
While rain was welcome in the state it did come with dangers.
"Unfortunately coming in this massive amount in one go, quickly does cause some risk ... both in how you capture most of that ... and also debris run-off and the potential for fallen trees," the emergency services minister said.
The dangerous conditions come as firefighters work to contain a blaze at French Island at Western Port which started on Saturday.
More than 87 hectares was destroyed but only one outbuilding was damaged but the blaze did come very close to homes, authorities confirmed.
"Basically the fire on French Island did move very rapidly yesterday ... we basically got large air tankers in there quickly ... we actually had to take fire trucks across on a barge," Deputy Emergency Management Commissioner Chris Stephenson said.
"The news this morning is quite good and we hope we will contain that fire sometime later today."
The cause of the blaze is still unknown.