Mixed weather in store for Northern Rivers.
Mixed weather in store for Northern Rivers.

Sun peeps out from behind clouds, but how long will it last?

THE sun has been peeping out on and off from the clouds the past few days, and greeted Northern Rivers residents with a cracker of a morning today, but the weather can't seem to make up it's mind.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, it may stay like this for some days to come - perhaps with a light sprinkle here and there.

BoM predicts a chance of a thunderstorm offshore tomorrow, and there is a strong wind warning in place for Byron Coast then.

The change is due to a weakening high pressure system over the Tasman Sea which is extending a ridge to the northern New South Wales coast, while a strong cold front approaches from the southwest.

"This front will bring a vigorous south to southwesterly change to southern and central waters today, extending to the Queensland border early Saturday," according to BoM's weather situation.

"Winds should gradually ease later Saturday and Sunday as a ridge of high pressure drifts across from the west. This high is expected to remain the dominant feature in the region for a number of days."

The cool and gusty change will affect most of the region tonight into tomorrow as a "vigorous cold front is crossing southern and western New South Wales today".

And another cold front looks set to arrive during the second half of the week.

Latest forecast

There's only a slight chance of showers for Lismore tomorrow with less than 1mm forecast, the same each day until Thursday, where there is a medium chance of rain bringing around 2mm.

Daytime conditions Saturday until Wednesday is predicted to be mostly sunny or partly cloudy.

Similar conditions are forecast for Byron Bay and Ballina, but it could be slightly damper with possible showers forecast most days for the next week for Byron.

There's a medium to high chance of rain each day according to Weather Zone, with up to 5mm forecast each day until next Thursday.

The day with the most consistent sun is expected to be Sunday.

Long term forecast

Elders Weather predicts the next cold front events with potential to bring widespread rain are expected about 11 May to 15 May, 18 May to 22 May, and 23 May to 27 May.

Looking even further ahead, the weather bureau has indicted May is likely to be drier than average for much of eastern Australia.

"However, for the three months from May to July, eastern and southern Australia show no strong tendency towards above or below average rainfall," their latest climate outlook reads.

"Warmer than average days and nights during May to July are very likely (greater than 80 per cent chance) for large parts of northern and eastern Australia, with chances reducing in the southwest."

The Bureau's climate model also suggests a short-lived El Niño may develop in the coming months, which if it comes to fruition would increase the chances of drier conditions in the east.



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