Flood watch issued

Updated 1pm 13/6/13:

A FLOOD watch has been issued for Gippsland.

The flood watch is related to the Latrobe, Thomson, Macalister, Avon, Mitchell, Tambo, Snowy, Cann and Genoa river catchments and the South Gippsland Basin.

A high pressure system is moving eastwards across the Tasman Sea.

A low pressure system east of Adelaide is expected to track eastwards over southern New South Wales today before intensifying just east of Victoria on Thursday.

The low is likely to move only slowly to the northeast on Friday then eastwards across the Tasman Sea on Saturday as a high pressure system south of the Great Australian Bight extends a ridge to the south of Tasmania.

A low pressure system over eastern Bass Strait is expected to deepen Thursday and remain slow-moving. This low will move slowly eastwards on Friday and will be centred over the Tasman Sea during the weekend.

In the 24 hours to 9am Thursday rainfall totals of up to 106 millimetres were recorded in the East Gippsland catchments. Since 9am rainfall totals of up to 15mm have been recorded.

Scattered showers increasing to rain in the evening have been forecast for East Gippsland catchments during Thursday.

Rain with heavy falls has been forecast for Friday. Rainfall totals of up to 30 mm have been forecast for Thursday and up to 100 mm have been forecast for Friday for the East Gippsland catchments with higher isolated totals possible.

The forecast rainfall is expected to lead to minor to moderate flooding across the East Gippsland catchments from late Thursday. If the rainfall totals are in the upper range of the forecast then areas of major flooding may develop.

In the 24 hours to 9am Thursday rainfall totals of up to 80mm were recorded in the West and South Gippsland catchments. Since 9am rainfall totals of up to 15mm have been recorded.

Heavy rain has been forecast for the remainder of Thursday with rain contracting to showers on Friday. Rainfall totals of 75mm have been forecast for Thursday for the West and South Gippsland catchments with higher isolated totals possible.

The forecast rainfall is expected to lead to minor to moderate flooding across the west and south Gippsland catchments from Thursday afternoon. If the rainfall totals are in the upper range of the forecast then areas of major flooding may develop

If the rainfall totals are in the upper range of the forecast then areas of major flooding are likely to develop.

The Bureau of Meteorology is continuing to monitor the situation and will issue catchment specific warnings if and when required.

The potential local impact of this flooding in your area may include:

River levels may reach the tops of banks or flow over into low lying area;

Local roads may be closed and low bridges may be under water;

Caravan parks and camping areas may be flooded, requiring relocation to higher ground;

Water on the roads and poor visibility due to rain and fog may make driving hazardous;

Heavy falls could lead to flash flooding or rapid rises in creeks and streams. Lower areas may be impacted by rainfall in the hills – you may experience flooding even if rainfall in your local area is not intense, and

Areas affected by fires in the past year are more vulnerable to heavy rain. The water will run more quickly over the surface and more debris and silt will be picked up.