Dungog flooding as severe Newcastle and Hunter thunderstorm weather warning cancelled

Dungog roads, bridges shut after heavy rain

SEVERAL roads and bridges have shut after Dungog was blitzed with 50mm of rain in two hours on Friday morning.

Fosterton, Thalaba, Banfield and Windeyer Street bridges were shut mid-morning after a deluge the Bureau of Meteorology said delivered 52mm between 5.15am and 7.15am.

Hooke Street, between Dowling Street and Lord Street, and Lord Street, between Hooke Street and Brown Street are also closed due to the rain.

Dungog Shire Council said its waste management facility would stay shut and the heavy rain could interrupt garbage bin collections.

Additional collections are scheduled throughout the weekend, with residents urged to keep their bins out until they are picked up.

"The recent heavy rain has created unsafe conditions at the tip face, and a power surge has caused some damage to the weigh bridge," the council said.

"Repairs are currently underway and the facility will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so."

The Bureau of Meteorology no longer expects thunderstorms to lash the Hunter on Friday, withdrawing an earlier alert that severe storms were expected.

The weather authority had warned Hunter residents to prepare for serious storms, but said shortly before 10.30am that the threat had passed.

Further updates are expected if conditions deteriorate.

The bureau expects that most of the Hunter is likely to experience rainfall above its median over the weekend, with March rainfall forecast to exceed averages across large swathes of the country in March.

Minimum temperatures are also expected to be higher than usual during autumn.

"March to May (autumn) rainfall is likely to be wetter than average for much of northern and eastern Australia," the Bureau of Meteorology said.

"La Nina continues in the tropical Pacific but is past its peak strength. However, it is still expected to influence Australia's rainfall during this outlook period. La Nina typically increases the likelihood of above average rainfall across eastern and northern Australia during summer and early autumn."

Rainfall in Newcastle over summer remains short of the median monthly falls.

Bureau statistics show the median falls at Nobbys are 79.8mm in December, 88.7mm in January and 107.1mm in February. That compares to 81.8mm recorded in January at Nobbys, 38.4mm in December and 14.2 mm so far in February.

Water storage levels in the Hunter are above 93 per cent.

This story Dungog roads, bridges shut after heavy rain first appeared on Newcastle Herald.