The rain has provided some relief for farmers in certain towns. Picture: Peter Lorimer/AAP
The rain has provided some relief for farmers in certain towns. Picture: Peter Lorimer/AAP

Does the rain mean the drought is over?

ALL this rain has many rejoicing, but some are still struggling.

While the deluge that battered the east coast of the country has been great news for Australia's drought-stricken conditions, you have to be under the right rain cloud to benefit.

Some areas are covered in green grass for the first time in years, but others haven't seen a drop.

The rain has helped about 20 towns but others are still waiting for water.

The weather is set to turn hectic once again as a tropical cyclone begins to close in on Australia's east coast.

Huge swells, beach erosion, gale force winds and fresh dumpings of rain are all on the cards with the track of Cyclone Uesi firming up as a direct hit with waters off New South Wales.

 

The rain has provided some relief for farmers in certain towns. Picture: Peter Lorimer/AAP
The rain has provided some relief for farmers in certain towns. Picture: Peter Lorimer/AAP

So what does that mean for people in drought?

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Blair Trewin said that "depends very much on where you are".

"On the one hand we've seen very heavy rain across a large part of the east coast. Right down the NSW coast we've seen widespread falls over a few days of more than 200mm," he told the ABC.

"In that coastal region we've seen a very dramatic improvement of the situation, but once we go significantly west of the Divide the rain's been much more patchy."

Mr Trewin said sustained rainfall was still needed.

"We're not seeing the widespread, above-average falls in the inland that we've seen on the coast," he said.

"Some particular places are tracking above-average for January, February, but it's not consistent in the way it is in the coastal areas."

 

Farmer David Buckley on his property near Dalby, Queensland, which had a significant amount of rain. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Farmer David Buckley on his property near Dalby, Queensland, which had a significant amount of rain. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

James McTavish, regional town water supply co-ordinator, told Guardian Australia the rainfall was "wonderful news" for many towns, particularly along the coast.

"We should have a better handle on things after this rain event," he said.

"On the coast a lot of the water availability has certainly improved substantially. For most areas in the north coast it's a substantial change and in a very short space of time."

He said towns including Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Taree, Foster and Kempsey were "substantially better off".

Overnight the BOM upped the likely rain totals for Sydney. Yesterday's forecast had up to 20mm falling today - but the most recent forecast has that up as high as 50mm, with the same tomorrow and more showers on the weekend.

Flood warnings are in place for the Clarence, Hawkesbury, Moruya, Deua, Orara, Castlereagh, Paroo, Belubula, Weir and Snowy rivers in NSW.



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