Flights at Sydney Airport are being delayed by up to an hour after wind gusts of nearly 90km/h hit the city on Monday morning at the start of what is forecast to be a wet and windy week.
Sydney Airport advised passengers to prepare for significant delays as southerly wind gusts of 89km/h buffeted Mascot at 9.30am. The Bureau of Meteorology said wind gusts of 76km/h were being recorded just before 11am.
But the worst winds are not expected to hit the Sydney metropolitan until midday or early afternoon, Weatherzone says.
Delays of up to 60 mins on take off due to high winds. Arrivals are unaffected. Please check with your airline for updates on your flight.— Sydney Airport (@SydneyAirport) August 18, 2014
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain and damaging winds for the Sydney metropolitan, Hunter, Illawarra and south coast forecast districts on Monday.
About 800 homes and businesses in Glebe were without power at 11am on Monday, while about 700 homes in Birrong and Regents Park were also blacked out, said Ausgrid.Crews who were working to get the power reconnected.
An earlier power outage at Turramurra and South Turramurra affected about 1000 customers but had since been fixed, the company said.
ABC, meanwhile, posted this photo of a tree blown over at an inner city primary school on social media:
Endeavour Energy said its crews were working to restore power to about 2500 homes in the Illawarra and parts of north-western Sydney, including Glenorie, Dural and Kenthurst.
Wattamolla, to Sydney's south, clocked winds of 122 km/h just after 9.30am.
A complex low-pressure system close to the NSW coast delivered heavy rain and strong winds to the south coast and Illawarra overnight, and that weather was tracking north on Monday morning, Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.
It was a soggy commute into the city for the start of the working week, with about 20 millimetres drenching the city between 7.30am and 11am.
"Heavy rain will spread right across Sydney during the morning, and following the heavy burst of rain is a burst of very strong winds," Mr Dutschke said.
"Winds should peak in the middle of the day or in the afternoon and have potential to reach 90km/h or 100km/h on the coast.
"It won't be quite as windy further inland, but coastal areas are likely to be hit hardest by the wind and also the rain."
Mr Dutschke said Sydney could expect widespread falls of between 15 and 30 millimetres, but some areas could pick up 50 millimetres.
"The rain should ease off later in the day and even clear from some parts of Sydney but we can expect another burst of heavy rain again tomorrow morning," Mr Dutschke said.
"It's unlikely to be as long lasting or as heavy as we've got this morning, but it could bring another 10 to 20 millimetres, particularly to coastal areas, and that will come along with another burst of very strong winds as well. There is potential for 90km/h winds again tomorrow morning.
"Basically we have got a pair of wet and windy days coming up."
The Bureau of Meteorology said large and powerful surf conditions were forecast on Monday, with wave heights of between four and five metres expected.
The wild conditions are a result of a complex low pressure system off central parts of the NSW coast, with a number of low pressure centres embedded within it. That system was forecast to move north throughout Monday, with the low centres passing near to the coast.
The State Emergency Service (SES) has advised people to move vehicles under cover or away from trees, to secure loose items around the house, yard and balcony, to keep clear of fallen power lines and not to drive, ride or walk through floodwater.
Some of Sydney's roads were more congested than usual for the commute on Monday morning.
Buses are delayed up to 30 minutes on New South Head Road through Rose Bay and Double Bay due to heavy traffic.— 131500 buses (@131500buses) August 17, 2014
Buses travelling n/b on The Grand Parade now delayed up to 35 minutes due to heavy traffic approaching Bay Street and General Homes Drive.— 131500 buses (@131500buses) August 17, 2014
Flooding on Victoria Road in Rozelle caused delays to city-bound traffic.
For emergency help in floods and storms, ring the SES on 132 500.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney received 21.8 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Monday, bringing the two-day total including Sunday to just over 50 millimetres.
Both days exceeded the 16.4 millimetres of rain for the whole of July, and lifted the tally so far in August to 91.4 millimetres.
This month has been the first since November to post above-average rainfall, with two more weeks in August to come.
Showers are expected each day for the next week. The heaviest falls are likely on Tuesday, with five to 20 millimetres likely, the bureau said.
- with Peter Hannam
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