Environment

Canberra weather: rain dampens lead up to Australia Day

The weather leading up to Australia Day has offered little encouragement to employees weighing up taking an extra long weekend.

Australia Day falls on a Tuesday this year, but forecasters predict rain and thunderstorms through to the beginning of next week.

Hardy souls take a bike ride in the rain.
Hardy souls take a bike ride in the rain. Photo: Graham Tidy

Rain paired with the warm weather this week brought the tropics to the capital.

Twenty-six millimetres of rain fell on the capital on Thursday evening.

"That rain that came through [on Thursday], got really, really heavy and pretty much fell all at once," Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott said.

Ms Westcott said 17.6 mm fell in 10 minutes. "To put that in perspective you usually see that sort of rainfall heaviness in the tropics," she said.

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Forecasters predict another 10mm on Friday, and more possible storms over the weekend. The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted temperatures to top at 27 degrees or more at the weekend.

Canberrans have also no doubt noticed theĀ above average humidity in the capital.

Ms Westcott said three days straight of above 35 degrees, together with the rain and cloud cover, were contributing to the humidity in the air.

The bureau recorded a relative humidity rate of 99 per cent at 7am on Friday morning, dropping to 54 per cent by lunchtime and rising back to 88 per cent by 3pm.

The story is similar at the south coast, with the forecast of rain and thunderstorms although temperatures were expected to be cooler, Ms Westcott said.

A thunderstorm or two is expected on Saturday, with more of a sprinkling on the days through to Tuesday.

On Friday afternoon a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of NSW above the ACT and east to the south coast.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, the publisher of this website.