Wild weather set to hit Sydney for peak hour

Workers in Sydney face a difficult journey home on Wednesday, especially those who live in northern and western suburbs, with a band of thunderstorms likely to hit the city on Wednesday afternoon.

Sydney may get 10-30 millimetres of rain and some pockets could cop much heavier falls, particularly in the north and west of the city.

"It will probably be quite a dangerous afternoon on the roads, coming back from work,” said Weatherzone meteorologist Rob Sharpe.

The storms should move into the Sydney Basin from about 2pm onwards and reach the main population centres by 4pm, just "when people need to get outside" for school pick-ups and the end of the work day, said Ben Domensino, also a meteorologist at Weatherzone.

‘‘We’re expecting heavy rain within a short period of time with these storms and flash flooding is a risk as are damaging winds today," Mr Domensino said. "You’re looking at falls of at least 50 millimetres for northern and western suburbs.’’

Storms and more drought-relieving rain can be expected across much of NSW, with heavy falls also possible in the Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains.

Some parts of the state may get up to 100 millimetres of rain, Mr Sharpe said.

Overnight, inland regions such as Coonabarabran had 45 millimetres with nearby Warkton receiving 56 millimetres.

Wednesday's storms and rain should bring 20-40 millimetres of rain to the north-eastern third of NSW, with border ranges likely to get another 80 millimetres in isolated areas on Thursday, Mr Domensino said.

Storm weather warning. Picture: KATE GERAGHTY

Storm weather warning. Picture: KATE GERAGHTY

Drought breaker?

Before last weekend, much of northern NSW and Queensland had been enduring drought, with some areas recording record-low rainfall over the past six months.

The Abbott government is likely to consider a package of aid for farmers, including lower-interest loans, within days.

While the follow-up rains will be welcomed in parched regions, the storm may also bring damaging winds and possible flash-flooding.

"The burst of rain may be too much in one go," Mr Sharpe said.

Central parts of Queensland, where farmers had feared missing out on decent rains for a second wet season, may see as much as 200 millimetres in a week, Mr Sharpe said.

‘‘This is usually how you see these dry periods end - with a big burst of rain," Mr Domensino said. "It will eventually settle into the ground but it’s likely to cause flooding initially."

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.

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