Wet week: 100mm of rain, cyclone threat


AREAS in north Queensland could be hit with up to 100mm of rain this week, with the possibility of a tropical cyclone developing in the Coral Sea.

The southeast is also predicted to see more showers and storms today with a surface trough running through western Queensland bringing with it the potential for damaging winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting an increasing monsoonal flow to strengthen over coming days in the Gulf of Carpentaria, with the low pressure system possibly developing into a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea.

"We have an increasing monsoonal flow over the next couple of days so we're expecting the monsoon trough to become more established and a low pressure system is likely to form either in the Arafura Sea or the Gulf of Carpentaria over the next couple of days, moving into the Gulf of Carpentaria by Wednesday … increasing showers and storms as that pressure develops," Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Kimba Wong said.

"From Thursday its looking like that low pressure system will track eastwards across the Cape York peninsula and into the northern Coral Sea, still as a low pressure system, but bringing quite wet and windy conditions with it and then from Friday or Saturday there is the chance that low pressure system could develop into a tropical cyclone in the northern Coral Sea.

"It's still a fair way off and there is some uncertainty in the modelling but it is looking like it will track further offshore of the east coast.

"If it does, we're expecting the cyclone impacts on the east coast to be minimal but nevertheless we are expecting wet and windy conditions along the east coast from Wednesday when that activity starts to ramp up just because we have that south-easterly surge moving through and the monsoonal flow as well so a combination of factors."

Ms Wong said the Cape York Peninsula and tropical coast region will see an increase in activity from Wednesday with scattered rainfall totals of 20mm to 50mm, alongside some isolated totals of up to 100mm.


"That continues any day from Wednesday and will start clearing offshore on Saturday - it's very dependent on where that low or tropical cyclone goes and things will change depending on that development but several wet days ahead for the north," she said.

The southeast is expected to see more rain today, and for the rest of the week, with the Brisbane and Fraser Coast regions among the key areas to be hit.

The Bureau said there had already been falls in excess of 100mm in some parts.

"Those rainfall totals in excess of 100mm may not be as widespread … particularly along the coastline and north of the Sunshine Coast, rainfall figures between 20 to 80mm are not out of the question.

"Isolated rainfall totals in excess of 100mm, possibly some in a few of 150mm not impossible, but that's just for today so its not going to be particularly long lived."

"It's probably going to continue for the rest of the day - there is some potential for some heavy rainfall along the coastal fringe, from the Fraser Coast up north through the Capricornia we could see some heavy rainfall," Ms Wong said.

Parts of north and central Queensland could be hit with 100mm of rain this week. Picgture: Matt Taylor
Parts of north and central Queensland could be hit with 100mm of rain this week. Picgture: Matt Taylor

"We've had a south-easterly surge moving up the coast the last couple of days that is just sitting around Gladstone at the moment and as that heads north anything south of that along the coastal fringe will be subject to strong winds and quite moist onshore flow with the potential for heavy rainfall there.

"A little further inland we do have a severe thunderstorm warning for the Maranoa and Warrego, areas around Charleville and through the southern interior … dropping some pretty heavy rainfall and the potential for damaging winds.

"There is further potential for the more severe storms through the day today so good idea to keep on top of the warnings as they're issued."