Brollies up in Sydney (Photo: Ari Kimber)

A welcome deluge but no ‘drought-breaker’

It’s still raining. That’s great news for NSW farmers but the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says it’s not going to “break the drought”.

Duty forecaster, Zhi-Weng Chua, said follow-up rain is needed to make a difference. “The drought index is complex – the amount of water hitting soil [hasn’t been enough],” he said.

Wallangarra farmer, Peter Corcoran, explains this is because the soil is so dry, the water just sits on top and quickly evaporates. That’s why follow-up rainfall is critical.

The rain that’s fallen over the state this week has been widespread, but by Friday it had moved away from regional areas. The heaviest falls are now being recorded around the Sydney metropolitan and Central Coast areas.

This week’s rain came just in time for some parts of outback NSW. Broken Hill recorded 34.2 millimetres in just one night – that’s more than it has received all year. It also arrived on the back of a huge dust cloud that turned the sky red and swept through the city on winds of up to 109 kph.

Residents of Broken Hill gave Hatch permission to use some of the dramatic photos they shared of both the dust and rain storms.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s drenching left commuters facing traffic and public transport delays. The latest weather bureau forecast warns that the deluge is set to continue into next week.

City residents and landholders alike are urged to keep up to date with the latest weather warnings and forecasts on the bureau’s site:

Story and images, Yianna Karanikola @itsyianna , Bella Knevett @BellaKnevett and Ari Kimber @Ari_Kimber