The Hunter’s balmy Autumn weather is set to change with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a dive in temperatures and a 90 per cent chance of rain by Friday afternoon.
But the odds of rain are even higher on Saturday with the chance of a thunderstorm in the Upper Hunter and overnight temperatures falling to around 10 degrees.
Come Sunday the rain’s tipped to ease but temperatures will still remain in the lower range.
The rain has been expected all week, with Fairfax Media having already reported how the weekend’s weather was going to take a turn for the worst with rain forecast Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Upwards of 10 millimetres is tipped to fall over the three days but bureau spokesperson David Barlow said it was a fraction of the 30 to 50 mm expected in western NSW.
Rain began to fall in Tamworth early Friday morning.
Queensland is also getting a drink from widespread wet weather on the east coast.
Mr Barlow said the Hunter's wet is set to kick in on Friday afternoon/evening with northeasterly winds between 20 and 30 kilometres per hour also forecast. Overnight temperatures are set to fall between seven and 13 degrees with daytime temperatures tipped to reach between 18 and 22 degrees.
Rain should start to ease across the Valley on Sunday and clear by Monday.
The weather has the organisers of the 25th annual Lovedale Long Lunch on tenterhooks with the two-day event likely to be wet underfoot.
Organisers are ordering in more marquees to keep the 20,000 plus crowd dry over the weekend.
The event kicks off Saturday morning across seven Lovedale vineyards: Allandale, Emma's Cottage Vineyard, Gartelmann, Saltire, Sandalyn Winderness Estate, Tattler and Wandin.
Allandale marketing and events coordinator Haley Lindsay said tickets for the event are still available on line.
"So far we have sold about 19,000 but expect to sell an additional 1000 tickets before Saturday," Ms Lindsay said.
"We are preparing for the rain event organising more shelter and creating more under cover space for guests," she said.
"We know heavy rain is likely on Saturday but we really hope it eases off on Sunday. We have started to stock up on ponchos."
Lovedale Long Lunch draws crowds from across the Hunter, Sydney, Central Coast and Newcastle.