It was a grim day weather-wise across Canberra yesterday with steady rain and gusty winds putting a damper on the day before the Labour Day long weekend.
By 9pm last night, almost 25.2 millimetres of rain had fallen in the ACT and wind gusts had reached 76km/h. About 76 millimetres of rain had fallen at Perisher.
Yesterday evening, a notice on the Floriade website confirmed the nighttime festival had been called off due to the adverse weather conditions
Patrons were advised that tickets could be used to gain entry on either Saturday or Sunday night. Ticket holders will need to swap their tickets at the ticket office.
The ACT Emergency Services Agency confirmed three calls had been made reporting fallen trees.
Today damaging winds around 50km/h with peak gusts of 90km/h are forecast
Sean Carson, of the Bureau of Meteorology, said the expected 20-40 millimetres of rainfall could bring the region above the average September rainfall.
Mr Carson said the weather pattern wasn't at all unusual for spring, and was actually well-timed for many of the farmers around the region.
''It's a fantastic time of year to get it. You couldn't ask for a better time of year to pick up an inch of rain,'' he said.
The chief officer of the SES warned residents to prepare their homes for thunderstorms like yesterday's before the storm hits.
''Once the wind starts and once the rain's falling, its then too late, the conditions then are too risky for people to be climbing ladders,'' he said. The SES estimates they will receive between 500 and 600 calls before the end of December.
''Our analysis of these calls suggests about 50 per cent are preventable,'' he said.
Showers will ease this morning, leaving the capital with a cold but reasonably sunny long weekend.
Grass growth around Canberra associated with above-average rainfall for the last two years has the potential, according to Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Mark Crosweller, to provide ample fuel for grass fires this bushfire season, which starts on Monday. ''If you think it won't burn, think again. In the grass, fire moves fast and this can cause a significant risk,'' he said.
From Monday, no fires can be started in the ACT without a permit.
Earlier yesterday morning areas to the south of Canberra were hit with a taste of the wide-ranging storm front, with wind gusts up to 90km/h blowing the roof off the historic Bredbo Inn Hotel.
Manager of the 176-year-old hotel Mary Bligh said it was, thankfully, just her and her partner there when the roof came off at about 5am, taking down power lines.
Ms Bligh told canberratimes.com.au this afternoon that she hoped to reopen the bar area within the next few days.
The SES was prepared for calls for help as the weather worsened, and advised residents to ready themselves for the wild weather.
The Bureau has also issued a flood watch - a preliminary warning - for areas around Tumut and Gundagai, as the storm front is expected to dump plenty of water over the catchment.
A combination of high wind, warm temperatures and heavy rain have also battered the Snowy Mountains, dissolving much of the otherwise thick snow cover just before what is traditionally the last weekend of the ski season.
However that rain should tend to snow come morning, rejuvenating some of the ski fields as resorts endeavour to extend their bumper season by an extra week.