AT LEAST one part of the parched eastern seaboard of Australia can look forward to a welcome rain over the coming week.
Duty forecaster with the Victorian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Michael Efron said a developing east coast low was looking like dropping around 15-25mm over East Gippsland on Saturday.
Combined with showers likely beforehand Mr Efron predicted the region could easily see between 20-30mm for the total rain event.
It is the first east coast low to develop over East Gippsland for some time and farmers are hoping it marks a change in weather patterns coming into spring.
Unfortunately for growers looking for heavier falls Mr Efron said it was likely to be too fast moving to deliver the heavy rainfall similar events sometimes distribute.
"It will deepen quickly and is a proper east coast low pressure system, but unfortunately it is quite mobile and by Saturday night it will be way out over the Tasman so we're not likely to see those 50mm plus totals you get sometimes."
However the prospect of a solid 25mm drenching will be welcomed by East Gippsland farmers looking to enter the warming days of spring with a decent reserve of moisture for pastures.
The good news is not confined to East Gippsland, with an earlier series of cold fronts set to deliver reasonable rain across Victoria.
"I'd expect the majority of the state will see at least 5-15mm for the week, apart from perhaps the far north-west, with higher totals through West Gippsland and into the Central Highlands," Mr Efron said.
As has so often been the case this year the Murray River has acted as the cut-off point for rain, with virtually negligible falls into NSW apart from isolated parts of the NSW High Country.
Mr Efron said there was a climatic reason for this.
"The positive Indian Ocean Dipole event is limiting rainfall through eastern Australia, but in the south that is partially counteracted by the negative Southern Annular Mode (SAM) pattern, which is allowing cold fronts to clip Victoria and southern South Australia.
He said the negative SAM event was likely to weaken further into the spring period, raising the chance of dry conditions for Victoria.
Eastern and southern SA is likely to get some light rainfall from the upcoming cold front, with similar tallies to western Victoria.
Mr Efron said the rain would start in SA and Victoria on Thursday, with general falls of around 5mm with locally higher tallies possible with thunderstorms, especially in the Western District.
For north-eastern Victoria the major rain day will be Friday.
Mr Efron said minor flood warnings would be likely for rivers in the West Gippsland and the Yarra Ranges for rivers such as the Bunyip, Latrobe and Yarra following the rain.