Richmond records 26mm of rain after one of the driest years on record

It didn't break any records, but the rain that fell across the Hawkesbury last week was a welcome respite from drought and bushfires.

A total of 26.2mm fell at Richmond RAAF base from January 13 to January 19, with the the most rain (15mm) falling on January 17, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Rainy match: Hawkesbury's Abhijeet Dandyan faces a ball in the rain in the 4th Grade Premier Cricket match against Fairfield on Saturday at Richmond. Some weekend matches were cancelled due to the weather. Picture: Geoff Jones.

Rainy match: Hawkesbury's Abhijeet Dandyan faces a ball in the rain in the 4th Grade Premier Cricket match against Fairfield on Saturday at Richmond. Some weekend matches were cancelled due to the weather. Picture: Geoff Jones.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for areas including the Hawkesbury on Monday afternoon, with damaging winds, "large, possibly giant hailstones" and heavy rainfall predicted.

The rain was welcome following a tinder dry 2019, with just 60 per cent (481.2mm) of the mean yearly rainfall recorded falling at Western Sydney University's (WSU) Richmond campus, and 70 per cent of the average (514.4mm) falling at Richmond RAAF.

December 2019 was the driest month on record, with no rainfall recorded at either weather station. The mean for December at WSU is 75.5mm and at Richmond RAAF it is 67.1mm.

Last year was also in the top 10 driest years on record for Richmond, according to the data.

The wet weather led to poor conditions on local roads, with a man trapped inside a truck following a collision with an ADF vehicle about 4pm on January 18 at Mogo Creek. Police stated the ADF truck was travelling north on Wollombi Road when an Isuzu truck travelling in the opposite direction collided with it on a sharp blind bend.

The 51-year-old male Isuzu driver from St Albans was trapped in the cabin for a short time and was assisted by Defence personnel travelling in the other vehicle. He was later airlifted by Careflight to Westmead Hospital suffering a suspected broken leg.

Investigations into the incident were continuing on Monday, however police stated the poor conditions on Wollombi Road "being narrow, wet, windy and unsealed" were contributing factors in the incident.

Local fire brigades were also quick to point out the rainfall did not mean rules on starting fires had been relaxed. Londonderry Rural Fire Brigade - responsible for areas in both the Hawkesbury and Penrith Local Government Areas (LGAs) - moved on social media to remind locals the rain "does not mean that the regulations involving burning can be ignored.

"The statutory Fire Danger Period requiring written fire permits to be obtained remains in force until March 31, and the burning of rubbish remains prohibited at all times of the year in the Penrith City Council area," the brigade stated.

The lowest annual rainfall at WSU was recorded in 1944 (268mm), with the highest in 1950 (1718.2mm).