Orange is forecast to receive as much as 60 millimetres of rain at the end of the week, signalling a likely delay to the start of Level 6 water restrictions due mid-year.
Orange City Council notified rate payers last Thursday strict Level 6 restrictions were in the works should storage supplies across the city's water network receive no significant inflows by May 1.
The 11mm recorded so far this month has already pushed that Level 6 D-day back a touch and the expected flow-on effect with as much as 60mm predicted across Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be even more notable.
Weatherzone.com is forecasting an 80 per cent chance of 10-20mm of rain on Thursday, likely in the form of a thunderstorm, while the same amounts of rain are almost certain of arriving on Friday and Saturday with a 90 per cent chance of precipitation on those days.
Any rain will be welcome after one of the driest Decembers on record, with just 17.2mm of rain recorded in the final month of the year, which was also one of the warmest following a mean top temperature 3.4 degrees warmer than average.
Just 23.8mm fell in November while 20.2mm was recorded in October.
There's small chances of rain across the start of the week too, with Wednesday's predicted 70 per cent chance of 5mm the best in the lead-up to what will be the region's most significant rain fall since 21.6mm fell on September 17.
The mercury will hit mid-to-high 20s for most of the week, too, with a top of 30 predicted on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
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