'Substantial' soaking to end the Illawarra's sunny spell

A wet Wollongong in March. The rain is set to return this weekend, bringing our run of dry weather to an end. Picture: Sylvia Liber

A wet Wollongong in March. The rain is set to return this weekend, bringing our run of dry weather to an end. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Got some washing to do? Get it done sooner rather than later. 

The Illawarra’s sparkling mid-May conditions will make way later this week for the region’s wettest spell in more than a month as a large low pressure system sweeps across southern Australia.

The good news, though, is both Wednesday and most of Thursday should remain dry and there is no sign of a cold front to knock temperatures back to average levels for May.

“We'll definitely get some substantial rain compared to what we've been seeing,” Rob Sharpe, a meteorologist for Weatherzone, said.

“This is going to bump us up a bit.”

So far this month Wollongong rainfall totals sit at 11.4mm (Bellambi) and 3.4mm (Albion Park) – a fraction of both suburbs’ typical monthly falls of about 90mm and 64mm, respectively. 

The city’s last big drenching came about six weeks ago, when 58.2mm was recorded at Bellambi over the four days between April 2 and 5.

While showers will arrive in Wollongong on Thursday night, Friday looks to be the wettest of the coming days with Weatherzone predicting 20-40 mm for the city and inland suburbs.

The Bureau of Meteorology has a lower forecast for the rain event, tipping only 2-6mm for Wollongong on Friday and 3-10 mm in the city on Saturday in its latest update. 

The rainfall will be mostly from the slow-moving low pressure trough.

What’s missing from the set-up is a cold front, so day time temperatures will continue to top 20 degrees or warmer.  

On Sunday, the mercury is forecast to reach a top of 22 degrees in Wollongong, with a three-day run of 23 degrees maximums to be felt in Albion Park between Sunday and Tuesday. 

After another chilly night going into Wednesday – with overnight lows of 4.6 degrees at Albion Park and 10.5 degrees at Bellambi – minimum temperatures will become milder as the clouds and rain arrive.

“At this point, there are no strong indications of a cold front moving across NSW any time this month,” Mr Sharpe said.

“Anyone hoping for early snow in the alps will probably be disappointed,” he said.

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

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