AS IS the way with tropical weather systems, the forecast models keep changing their minds in the lead up to D-day.
D, of course, stands for Depression, of the barometric kind, and ex-cyclone Oswald is now more likely than ever to deliver in excess of 300mm of rain on the Far North Coast from Sunday through to Monday.
The Bureau has issued a flood watch from the Queensland border to Port Macquarie from Sunday onwards forecasting a greater than 75% chance of minor to moderate flooding, as well as local flash flooding, along the coastal river valleys.
Expect showers and sporadic bursts before then.
The models, as spruiked by the Bureau of Meteorology, reckon the Clarence Valley and Coffs will take the brunt of rain but the Richmond is also likely to flood to moderate levels.
Of course the rain could be less … and it might be more, so that's why residents should stay tuned to weather forecast updates on the Northern Star, and trawl the Bureau's excellent website including the 'interactive weather and wave forecast maps'.
As Coffs Harbour has the dividing range abutting the sea, it is there where clouds and topography mingle to create terrific precipitation and Monday looks like D-day for that city.
The Clarence needs widespread rain to create a flood and the models seem to point to extensive rain up above 400mm extending far enough west into that catchment to be of concern.
The Richmond may not get heavy enough rain in the upper catchment to create a drama. But keen eyed weather geeks might just monitor the rainfall at the Green Pigeon station.
If measurements above 300mm are recorded there then Kyogle residents living in low lying areas need to react.
Keep in mind that Kyogle and Casino are affected by rain in the upper Richmond while Lismore is hampered by rain falling on the southern slopes of the caldera filling the Wilsons River as well as Leycester and Back creeks.
Coraki and Woodburn need both these arms to flood as well as significant rain around Whiporie to fill the Bungawalbyn.
The rising waters in these low-lying towns comes at them much like turtles fighting - slow, methodical and unstoppable, and it tends to stay for an uncomfortably long period.