FORECAST rain in the Bathurst region can't come soon enough for the Macquarie River, which isn't flowing downriver of the city.
A Water NSW spokesman said the state-owned corporation's gauging points at Yarracoona and Dixon's Long Point downriver of Bathurst had been showing zero megalitres flowing past since December last year.
The spokesman said both gauges had been registering very low flows, of 20 to 30 megalitres per day, since a spike in flows in February last year.
Eglinton resident and retired teacher Trevor Hegvold and his wife Maureen were shocked to notice the Macquarie not flowing at Rankens Bridge on the weekend.
"My wife and I have lived in Eglinton since we came to Bathurst almost 30 years ago," he said.
"We often ride across the bridge on bikes and check the river out.
"I used to bring school kids down to the river on science excursions."
To see the river now flowing was a "bit startling", he said.
"You hear all the stories about drought and the river levels dropping, but when you see it at your back door, it hits home a bit more, I think," he said.
Burrendong Dam, near Wellington, which the Macquarie flows into downriver of Bathurst, is at just 1.6 per cent capacity, according to Water NSW.
Weatherzone, meanwhile, says thunderstorms are possible for Bathurst right through until Tuesday morning and rainfall totals on some days may reach as high as 20 millimetres.
"While this type of weather pattern is not unusual for this time of year, it's the first widespread rain and storm event we've seen in eastern Australia so far this season," a Weatherzone meteorologist said.
"Widespread totals of 20 to 40mm are likely between now and next Tuesday.
"Some places in NSW and Queensland should pick up 50 to 100mm of rain from this system and isolated totals over 100mm can't be ruled out."