PATCHY but widespread rain is bringing welcome relief to Queenslanders in the first week of 2018, and the good news is that meteorologists expect it to continue.
The Bureau of Meteorology last month released it’s January to March rainfall outlook, which showed parts of eastern Australia was likely to have a wetter than average three months.
The report showed south-east Queensland was more likely to cop the bulk of the falls, but forecasters say inland areas in Southern, Central and Western Queensland will also benefit, as will the Gulf.
Weak La Nina conditions are present in the tropical Pacific, which typically brings above average rainfall to eastern Australia during the summer months.
But the event is forecast to be short lived and weaker than the previous La Nina event in 2010-2012, which indicates only a slight increase to summer rain fall.
Brisbane Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Andrew Bufalino said unstable but moist air had brought widespread but isolated rainfall to much of the state this week.
“With the trough extending North-West down to the southeast interior, we would expect more showers and thunderstorms to continue,” Mr Bufalino said.
He said Toowoomba and the eastern Darling Downs had experienced falls between 15mm-30mm early in the week, with Kingaroy to Rockhampton receiving falls between 30-50mm.
However, he said falls of about 150mm could be experienced in isolated areas with heavy thunderstorm activity on the radar.
Mr Bufalino said unstable and moist conditions in the inland tropics could bring severe thunderstorms with daily averages of between 20mm-40mm likely, and up to 80mm in some areas.
“Across the northern tropics, conditions will continue especially around the Gulf and Northern Goldfields with areas like Georgetown seeing heavy thunderstorm activity… with areas of 150mm predicted with slow moving thunderstorms,” he said.
“By Friday and Saturday we will see the moisture creep in to western parts of the State, for instance Boulia to Mount Isa activity will increase by the weekend and we might see some very heavy thunderstorm activity.”
Weatherzone meteorologist Graeme Brittain said the Gulf country and Cape York Peninsula would benefit from the heaviest falls toward the end of this week.
“From Thursday through to Sunday there will be widespread falls of 40mm-50mm, though locally in excess of 100mm is possible,” Mr Brittain said.
“The Channel Country, Warrego, those areas are going to remain dry probably until later Saturday or Sunday with a few showers and localised thunderstorms bringing about 20mm, but it will be very localised and won’t be a blanket rainfall event.”
Mr Brittain said areas including Charters Towers, Emerald and Longreach would receive falls from around 10mm-30mm over the weekend before drying out early next week.
He said the unstable weather was caused by low pressure troughs which was not unusual in the wet seas.
”The signs we look at do signal potential for above average rainfall widely around Queensland, while it’s mainly in the southeast, elsewhere could see above average rainfall in the next three months, in part due to the weak La Nina.”