GALLERY: Wet start to Boxing Day as surfers make a splash

Boxing Day got off to a dreary start, with heavy rainfall on Christmas afternoon and night making the Illawarra the wettest region in the state over the public holidays.

The northern suburbs copped a summer soaking with 71.6mm of rain recorded at the Bellambi Point weather station by 9am Thursday morning.

Nearly 50mm of rain had fallen in Albion Park in the same period, while it was slightly less damp in Kiama, which received 36.6mm.

Peter Zmijewski from the Bureau of Meteorology said while it was a significant amount of rain, it wasn’t that unusual.

‘‘Certainly the rainfall we had was in the 50-60mm near the coast. The coastal strip, Wollongong and south of Wollongong down to about Little Lake (in Warilla)... most of the places had 50mm plus of rainfall,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s not unusual for this time of year beause if we get a shower or thunderstorm we start getting that type of precipitation.’’

The rain eased off mid-morning and sun and cloud battled it out for space in the sky for the rest of the day. In Kiama and Wollongong the mercury reached about 22 degrees after lunch, while a top of 23.8 degreees was recorded in Albion Park mid afternoon.

Friday  is expected to be partly cloudy, with a maximum temperature of 23 degrees and a chance of showers.

It should warm up on Saturday with temperatures expected in the mid 20s, before winds sweep across the Illawarra on Sunday.

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