VICTORIA and the pastoral regions of western NSW and northern South Australia have received better than expected rainfall out of a band of moisture generated from an inland trough while useful falls are now starting to accumulate over central NSW.
There were falls of up to 70mm in parts of eastern Victoria, but farmers throughout Victoria's low rainfall Mallee in particular were delighted with falls of over 40mm at the top end after as little as 1mm had been forecast just 24 hours out.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) duty forecaster Miriam Bradbury said the BOM had been gradually ramping up its forecast in the 48 hours leading up to the rain, but added it was only expecting 2-10mm over much of the Wimmera-Mallee.
"It was a little more than expected which I am sure will be well appreciated," Ms Bradbury said.
The highest tallies in Victoria were in the Broken River catchment between Euroa and Benalla with the Broken Weir receiving 71mm and Charnwood 68mm.
In the north-west there was 41mm at Ouyen and 39mm at Woomelang, which will be enough to germinate crops should grain producers choose to plant early.
South Australia's pastoral country saw a good drink with 46mm at Oodnadatta and 40mm at Coober Pedy, while in western NSW there was 61mm at Karpa Kora station and 30mm at Pooncarie.
Tallies of up to 20mm had been recorded in NSW's central west as of Thursday night.
Ms Bradbury said the rain was a classic autumn pattern.
Promisingly she said there was a chance of further rain over coming days.
The BOM has its heaviest falls over NSW but a vigorous cold front will also bring extensive showers and even snow to Victoria.
"The rain that fell on Wednesday was not associated with a cold front but over the weekend we will see a real cold snap with temperatures just making the mid-teens," Ms Bradbury said.
"We're expecting snow over Victoria to as low as 1100 metres."
The rain will help bolster catchments but no major stream rises or lift in dam levels have been recorded as yet.