WARNING: Flooding, damaging surf and wind expected
HEAVY seas, damaging winds and possible flooding could batter the northern NSW coast this week, as the Bureau of Meteorology and lifesavers warn of damaging conditions.
Meteorologist Diana Eadie said a hazardous surf warning was current for NSW with large and powerful waves forming as a result of a low-pressure system off the eastern coast.
"These big waves will extend for much of the NSW coast on Wednesday … and hazardous conditions will continue through the week even as the low moves away," she said.
Ms Eadie said the system was currently bringing heavy rain, snowfall and water spouts in the south.
"Although it will move onshore, meaning it will not be classified as an east-coast low, damaging winds may develop along much of the NSW coast," she said.
Surf Life Saving NSW director of lifesaving Joel Wiseman said conditions along the coast would be hazardous for the next few days.
"During this extreme weather event, we urge members of the public to stay away from the coastline and not to engage in risky coastal activities," he said.
"If people put themselves in danger in these extreme conditions, there's a real possibility that lifesavers will not be able to save them."
With sea swells up to four metres, heavy rain and damaging winds in some locations, Mr Wiseman said there was a chance of coastal inundation, erosion and flooding in low-lying areas.
Crews will also be on standby in Ballina to respond to any critical incidents in the north.
Supporting the offshore rescue boats will be RWC (jetski) operations, and the SLSNSW State Operations Centre will be operational between 7am and 5pm - with support services extended as required. Surf Rescue emergency call-out teams will remain on high alert.
Mr Wiseman said the predicted rainfall could impact water quality at many NSW beaches this week.
"The high wind and large surf conditions mean most beaches and rock platforms, in particular, will be treacherous this week," he said.
"The forecast low-pressure system will produce high winds, damaging surf with significant wave height and substantial rainfall. It will create extremely dangerous conditions for swimmers, surfers, rock fishers and boaters."