After one of the driest and hottest seasons in Australia's history which led to devastating wildfires, you may be inclined to breathe a sigh of relief at the news that rain is predicted to fall imminently.
The Bureau of Meteorology for New South Wales (NSW) – one of the states hardest hit by wildfires – estimates up to 100mm of rain will fall this week. In other words, it's going to absolutely pour down.
The NSW fire service tweeted that it would be "all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation presents rolled into one", but then told The Guardian that even that much rain wouldn't be enough to put out the fires ravaging the state.
If this @BOM_NSW rainfall forecast comes to fruition then this will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement,… https://t.co/7RbzDzKufq
According to NSW Rural Fire Service spokesperson Anthony Bradstreet:
With the period of drought we’ve experienced, we’d need to get extended periods of consistent rainfall in order to get the moisture content up enough for it to put out fires … which is unlikely.
Even more worryingly, he continued:
There are some extra dangers and risks associated with it as the landscape is quite vulnerable with the fire damage. We've lost a lot of vegetations and there is the risk of landslips.
"Landslip" is basically a less dramatic word for landslide, which is basically when excessive rainfall causes things like rocks, debris, and earth to start sloping. Depending on the severity, they can cause property damage, injury and even death.