A FLOOD watch is in place for parts of the Hunter as the Bureau of Meteorology predicts heavy rainfall over the next two days.
Sunny skies and 30-plus-degree temperatures dotted the region yesterday but it was a short-lived respite.
A low-pressure trough and an associated cold front are expected to move across eastern NSW this afternoon and tomorrow.
This will bring widespread showers and storms, and the bureau warns that the heaviest rain will be in the Hunter.
More than 50millimetres could fall, with a 75per cent chance of flooding and flash flooding in the Hunter and Manning valleys.
A State Emergency Service spokeswoman assured residents the flood watch was not a flood warning but that people should still remain vigilant.
‘‘It’s a warning to farmers that they need to be aware of their stock and property and move it to higher ground,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s also for residents to avoid back roads that may go under in a heavy downfall.’’
The Hunter River peaked in Maitland about lunchtime yesterday.
But it did not reach the predicted height of 9.2metres.
The town’s status has been downgraded from a flood warning to a flood watch.