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Bureau of Meteorology flags potential low off east coast as rain and storms continue

It has been a long few weeks of torrid weather and keeping on top of it all is getting exhausting, so here is a breakdown of what to keep an eye out for this weekend. 

The wet and stormy conditions are expected to continue on the east coast as the floods creep down our inland rivers.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecasts that further rainfall over the next few days will lead to renewed or prolonged river rises and flooding across already flooded areas.  

But another area of concern is a low pressure system threatening to form off Queensland's south-east coast.

Where will it rain?

Rain and storms are expected continue for south-east and central Qld, eastern New South Wales, eastern Victoria and eastern Tasmania. 

Heavy falls are possible across south-east QLD and north-east NSW, depending on what happens with the potential low-pressure system. 

As the east coast situation unfolds, another trough is expected to sweep through from the west, bringing showers to South Australia from Saturday morning.

The rain stirred up from this latest trough is then expected to push into western NSW and western Victoria later in the day.

The trough will continue to generate widespread showers and storms across south-east Australia into next week as another low-pressure system develops over NSW.

BOM is expecting a brief reprieve from rain towards the middle of next week but with so much moisture in the system it is not likely to last and the slow river floods will continue.

Potential low forming

Meteorologists will be watching closely because these surface troughs or lows that form off the east coast can bring with them huge amounts of rainfall and severe storms.

Watch points for forecasters over the weekend to Monday include areas such as the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Northern Rivers, including Lismore and Byron Bay.

The exact rainfall amounts will depend on where the trough forms and how it moves. 

If a low-pressure system does develop near the coast, impacts will be greater than if it develops offshore.  

So it is really a watch-and-see as that system develops.

But there could be some pretty wild weather this weekend, so please be prepared if you are in south-east Qld or north-east NSW, and keep an eye on the warnings. 

Echuca facing 1993 levels 

Flooding of the inland rivers is ongoing regardless of this weekend's forecast rain. 

BOM expects Murray River levels at Echuca in northern Victoria over the weekend and into next week to reach levels similar to the 1993 flood.

The river is expected to reach 94.77 metres Australian Height Datum (AHD) on Saturday, with rises to 95m possible during Sunday into Monday.

AHD is a geographical term, which is basically the sea level, but taking into account the change in tides.

It does not mean that the water is 95m higher than usual. It means the flood is expected to peak at about 95m above sea level.

The water level at Echuca goes up and down, but this year it mostly hovered between 86m and 88m AHD until late August.

Some river gauges do measure levels based on normal river height, so keep an eye out for the units.

Waters creep towards Echuca back in 1993.(ABC Archives)

Triple La Niñas flooded the 1970s

The 1993 flood at Echuca also took place in October, just topping the October 1975 flood that reached 94.75m AHD.

October is a pretty common time for flooding along the Murray River at the end of the wet winter season. 

It is worth noting the major flood level was also reached in May 1974 when the river got up to 94.52m. 

Those 1970's floods occurred during one of the handful of other triple La Niña events on modern record. 

But they were all well and truly beaten by the massive September 1870 flood where the waters rose to 96.2m AHD. 

Reports from the time stated that the water had risen 34 feet (10.3 metres) and extended 6 miles (9.6 kilometres) beyond its regular banks on the NSW side of the river. 

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