Major rain event ‘not over yet’
The rain event that has now affected seven states is "not over yet" and could continue deep into next week, forecasters have warned.
A tropical cyclone could also be brewing in far north Queensland.
Yesterday and overnight around 50mm of rain fell in and around Canberra and southern New South Wales and close to 100mm in the state's far west.
More than a month's rain fell in Melbourne overnight, causing havoc heading into peak hour this morning.
Some suburbs have had more than 40mm of rain recorded overnight.
On the NSW-Victoria border, Albury-Wodonga recorded Victoria's highest rainfall at 76.6mm since 9am yesterday.
"We're only halfway through this event - another 50mm is possible," Sky News Weather meteorologist Tom Saunders said early on Thursday.
Eastern coastal areas have seen rain but far less than the interior. However, both the NSW coast and almost all of Queensland could be sodden for the next week.
Up to 30mm could fall on Sydney today, 40mm in Hobart and 70mm in Canberra.
A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and damaging winds is in place for most of the NSW interior and the Australian Capital Territory as well as northern Victoria as far south as the Melbourne hinterland.
Mr Saunders said the country's east was being affected by two big low-pressure systems.
"Ex-cyclone Esther is over Queensland and another low has developed bringing heavy rain as far south as Tasmania, central Victoria and the Murray Basin.
"This will head off the coast on Thursday night which will just leave some showers on coastal areas."
Canberra has been in the thick of the rain event with 40mm falling since yesterday. Today the capital is looking at 40-70mm of rain with a high of 21C. Less heavy showers may continue through the weekend.
A southerly airstream will keep the rain focused on the costal fringe once the low has moved offshore.
Remaining wet in Sydney with as much as 30mm of rain today. The mercury might hit around 25C, rising to 28C on Friday. There is a high chance of showers all weekend and into next week which, in total, could see up to 50mm of rain in the gauge.
Around 10mm of rain in Melbourne today with a high of 22C. There will be patchy showers on Friday and Saturday. Far wetter in the state's north, however, with heavy rain around Albury-Wodonga and Shepparton.
Cloudy and wet in Hobart today with 15-40mm of rain forecast today and temperatures around 20mm. Showers could continue into the weekend.
A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall is in place for the entire east coast of Tasmania.
ALMOST ALL QUEENSLAND TO BE SODDEN
In northern Australia it's going to be all about the wet in the coming days.
"There's a ton of moisture for Queensland thanks to an easterly; it's going to be a wet week," said Mr Saunders.
The low associated with Esther is moving towards the coast. But an easterly will move it straight back again over the interior. That will mean around 50mm could fall across most of the state during the comings days. On the central Queensland coast, around Rockhampton, more than 100mm could fall.
Brisbane will be dry and warm today peaking at 30C. On Friday, expect up to 15mm of rain with a possible storm. Into next week, showers, heavy at times, are forecast each day.
Further north around Cape York a tropical low is forming which has the potential to become a cyclone next week. It's likely that it will head out to sea after it forms.
Elsewhere, Darwin can look forward to dry conditions today and tomorrow and highs of 33C. Afternoon storms are likely from Saturday onwards.