Weather: It's a lousy time to be a sheep at Tenterfield

IT'S not that it's snowing on the Northern Tablelands anymore, but, still, life's pretty rough this week if you happen to be a sheep.

The Bureau of Meteorology has this morning issued a weather warning to graziers on the tablelands, saying a combination of rain, westerly winds, and low temperatures could be enough to start killing lambs and sheep in the district.

The actual forecast for today includes a 60% chance of rain and a possible thunderstorm, winds reaching 35km/h and daytime temperatures between 12C and 21C. Tomorrow it gets overnight colder with temperatures approaching freezing in parts of the range and frosts considered likely. On the up side, the day will be warmer - ranging from 14 to 22 - and the rain will largely disappear, although winds will remain.

Downhill on the Northern Rivers we can expect the same (60%) chance of rain and the same winds with daytime temperatures reaching the low to mid-20s. Tomorrow the chance of rain falls to 20% inland and 40% on the coastal strip. Winds will reduce slightly and temperatures will range from around 9C overnight to the low 20s during the day.

The Northern Rivers also today gets to be the first part of NSW in our three-day-old fire season to reach a "very high" fire danger rating - the middle of the Rural Fire Service's band.

At present there are three fires burning on the Northern Rivers - a bushfire between Murwillumbah and Tyalgum, a grass fire near Bonalbo, and a hazard reduction burn south east of Grafton. All fires are listed as being under control.