Canberra is about to be drenched again, with a week of rain forecast that could dump up to 100 millimetres on an already sodden city.
The forecast comes as the ACT’s big wet forces the cancellation of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s popular Summer Prom concert at Government House on 3 December due to the condition of the grounds and the likelihood of more rain to come.
It is the third consecutive year that the CSO has had to cancel the event.
The CSO said that given recent rainfall and the presence of a La Niña weather pattern, it was extremely unlikely the lawns and parking areas would have time to dry out between now and 3 December.
“These conditions present unacceptable risks in terms of patron safety as well as the risk of vehicles bogging, damage to property and the inability to safely construct a stage,” the CSO said.
“It’s a great blow to the CSO to lose such a significant community outreach opportunity, three years running.”
Governor-General David Hurley said the decision to cancel the Prom was not easy.
“Linda and I want to convey our disappointment that the Canberra Symphony Orchestra Prom Concert cannot go ahead in 2022,” he said.
“The predicted heavy falls over the coming weeks on top of an already saturated property have made the prospect of hosting the event impossible.
“The Prom is an important community tradition and a joyous occasion. I particularly want to thank all those who have been working behind the scenes and the ticket holders for their support.”
The Weather Bureau says Friday and Sunday could be the wettest days with up to 30 mm expected, but it is forecasting showers every day up to next Tuesday, as well as the chance of thunderstorms from Friday to Monday.
The chance of rain ranges from 80 to 100 per cent across the week.
The rain is expected to come in tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon and increase overnight.
ACT Policing urged motorists to drive to the conditions and slow down.
Acting Inspector Travis Mills said there were simple measures drivers could take to stay safe.
“The risk of being involved in a collision increases during wet weather,” he said. “Slow down, turn your headlights on and increase the distance between the car in front and yourself.
“Avoid roads where flash flooding and excess water are prevalent – these waters are often deeper and flow faster than they appear. You should never drive, walk or ride through flood water.”
All of the ACT’s dams are full, and Queanbeyan residents will be watching anxiously how much overspill will head their way down the Queanbeyan River from the Googong Dam.
The conditions will interrupt the government’s pothole repair program and lead to even more damage to Canberra’s roads, which have been crumbling under the onslaught of unseasonal wet weather this year.
The rain will also make it harder for the ACT’s grass-cutting crews to make inroads into a backlog of sites needing attention and to maintain others as the rain feeds spring growth.
The good news is temperatures will be mild, with daily maximums of 21 degrees for most of the coming week.
The ACT weather is part of a wider low-pressure system that will bring rain and thunderstorms, some severe, to eastern Australia from Queensland to Tasmania, exacerbating already disastrous flood conditions in parts of NSW and Victoria.