By Kylie Stevens For Daily Mail Australia and Australian Associated Press
Published: 04:59 GMT, 24 December 2019 | Updated: 07:37 GMT, 24 December 2019
The gift of rain is predicted to fall in parts of drought-affected NSW and southeast Queensland on Christmas Day.
Brisbane’s temperature is tipped to hit 25C on Wednesday, with rain forecast for the city and fire-affected parts of the state’s south.
‘Brisbane will probably be the wettest city and that rain will travel all the way down to Newcastle in NSW,’ meteorologist Dean Narramore from the Bureau of Meteorology told AAP.
The heavens opened in Sydney mid-afternoon on Tuesday with a 50 chance of rain forecast for Christmas Day.
Christmas arrived two days early in drought-stricken Armidale in the NSW Northern Tablelands, where residents have welcomed much-needed downpour and storms in recent days.
A much needed downpour flooded the bowling greens at Armidale Bowling Club on Tuesday
A Christmas day miracle forecasts a downfall of rain after months of drought
Desperate farmers have been struggling for months in the face of the drought and are set to have their prayers answered on Christmas day
Armidale Airport has received 17.2mm of rain since 9am Tuesday morning on top of the 15mm on Monday.
The town is on the highest water restrictions as Malpas Dam catchment levels continue to dwindle.
Based on current usage, the town is predicted to run out of water by November next year.
Armidale residents have taken to social media to express their delight, posting photos of rain-logged streets and flooded bowling club greens, backyards and gardens.
‘Rain! Just about the best Christmas present country Australia could ask for right now,’ one person wrote.
‘Rain! Just about the best Christmas present country Australia could ask for right now,’ one person captioned this photo of Armidale
This Armidale backyard was flooded by a deluge of rain on Christmas Eve
Sydney will remain mild for Christmas with a top of 26C and a 50 per cent chance of rain.
Easterly winds will finally shift the smoke haze that has blanketed the city for weeks.
But it will settle over Canberra in the afternoon, where it is expected to reach 31C.
Darwin and Perth are expected to be the hottest capital cities on Christmas Day, hitting 36C, while down south, Hobart will experience the coolest Christmas weather with a sunny 25C forecast.
Melbourne will reach 28C, though it may experience some early morning haze as easterly winds push smoke from bushfires, which have been burning for a month in the Gippsland region, towards the city.
Mr Narramore described Adelaide as having the ‘perfect Christmas forecast’ of 31C.
‘It will be a beautiful day there for a swim in the pool or a game of backyard cricket,’ he said.
Christmas has come early for Armidale, which has been on the highest water restrictions
Drought-stricken Armidale on the NSW Northern Tablelands was inundated with rain
Away from the coast, the mercury will rise to the low to mid-40s in towns across SA, the Northern Territory and WA.
‘Central Australia will generally be very hot and dry, Alice Springs will likely be low to mid-40s,’ Mr Narramore said.
And cricket fans fear not – it may look overcast on Boxing Day morning but Melbourne is expected to clear to a top of 23C for the second trans-Tasman test.
The holiday predictions come after a week of heatwave conditions, which saw December maximum temperature records topple, and more hot weather likely on its way.
The drought-stricken town of Armidale has received a 32.2mm soaking over the last two days
Winds are forecast to clear the blanket of smoke which has covered Sydney for over a month
SYDNEY: Partly cloudy. Medium chance of showers, clearing during the late afternoon and evening, 26C.
MELBOURNE: Mostly sunny. Areas of haze in the morning and afternoon, with a chance of fog in the early morning over the western suburbs, 28C.
BRISBANE: Cloudy with a very high (90pct) chance of showers in the morning. The chance of a thunderstorm, most likely in the morning, 24C.
PERTH: Hot and mostly sunny, 36C.
ADELAIDE: Sunny with light winds, 31C.
HOBART: Partly cloudy with light winds, 25C.
CANBERRA Partly cloudy with a slight (20pct) chance of showers. Areas of smoke haze in the afternoon, 32C.
DARWIN: Partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers in the afternoon and evening. Light winds throughout the day and the chance of a thunderstorm, 36C.
Wishes come true for drought-stricken farmers as rain is forecast for Christmas Day
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