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NSW fire danger rising ahead of dampening rain and storms

Brett Dutschke, Wednesday February 15, 2017 - 12:20 AEDT

Fire danger is on the rise again across much of New South Wales as wind turns hotter northerly but it will be dampened by rain and storms heading into the weekend.

The highest fire danger will be focused on the Riverina and Far Western (in a line from about Wagga Wagga to Tibooburra) where the ratings should reach Extreme on Friday. Fire danger will be less intense in the surrounding areas but should still reach Severe, including the ACT (on Friday), and also on surrounding days, including where some of the more intense bushfires have been burning.

A low pressure trough drawing hot, dry, gusty northerly winds across the state will start to gain tropical moisture as it moves to the northeastern third of NSW. As a result, the system will begin to generate rain to help firefighters keep some control and potentially even douse some fires.

The rain should scatter widespread 20-to-40 millimetres north and east of a line from about Nowra to Dubbo to Ashford. The heaviest rainfall should occur in the Hunter and Mid North Coast where more than 50mm is likely and about 100mm is possible in some places this weekend.

In general, the rain will be a positive outcome but has potential to become heavy at times and lead to erosion where fires have burnt the ground bare.

Another potentially damaging feature of the rain event is thunderstorms which bring the threat of not just flash flooding but also damaging wind and sparking new fires.

During the weekend, cooler southerly winds will have taken hold of the state and from Monday a ridge of high pressure will clear the rain and storms.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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