AFTER dumping much needed rain along the North Queensland coast, ex-tropical cyclone Owen is expected to reform and deliver widespread rain across the parched region.
The low crossed the coast near Port Douglas about 3am today, bringing heavy rain and damaging wind gusts.
Kirrama Range received 349mm in the 24 hours to 9am, while Bilyana between Tully and Cardwell recorded 239mm with 92mm falling in just one hour.
The highest wind gusts of 87km/h were recorded at both Cairns and Innisfail Airports.
The system is expected to continue drifting west into the Gulf early on Tuesday and re-intensify into cyclone strength on Wednesday.
Bureau of Meteorolgy meteorologist Adam Morgan said Owen had the potential for widespread rain, showers and storms across parts of the east.
“The low will move westwards across northern Queensland during Monday, and then pop out into the Gulf on Tuesday,” Dr Morgan said.
“At this stage we may see Owen reintensify to towards cyclone strength into early Wednesday morning.”
Bowen-Gumlu Growers Association president Carl Walker said the rain would be horticulture in the region.
“The mango growers are probably not loving it as much as the graziers, but in farming you take the rain when you can,” Mr Walker said.
“The drought has been ferocious on us, so any rain at this time of year is welcome rain. We’ve had too many dry Decembers.
“We’ve got cover crops seeded and they are all starting to pop up to retain soil and put organic matter in the ground.”
Herbert River Canegrowers chair Michael Pisano said rain in the district would kick along next years sugar cane crop.
“Parts of the district had around 180mm overnight and up to this morning, it was pretty good rain,” Mr Pisano said.
“We’re had the harvest completed just over a week now, so it’s been perfect that way.
“It’s really good for the young crop coming up, it’s been very dry this year.”
Pentland resident Nicola Le Blowitz had a decent downpour last Thursday which got Betts Creek running, which her kids Dallas, 8 and Georgia, 5 enjoyed a splash in.
Mrs Le Blowitz said she received 39mm while others in the district received similar.
“It was nice to see, hopefully we will see a bit more,” she said.
“The last year has been a fizzer. When we moved here in 2010 the grass was rotting it was that wet. We haven’t seen any decent rain since 2012, we are lucky enough to get the odd shower here and there.”
Further south, fire ravaged areas of Central and North Queensland including Gracemere, Sarina and Eungella have also received rain.
Gracemere resident Ben Dobson got the heaviest rain since February last Thursday, when 61mm fell.
His son Eddie, 6 and dog Tinky enjoyed playing in the mud.
“Hopefully this cyclone does its thing and travels down the coast to dump a couple of inches,” Mr Dobson.
“We’ve had a couple of spits but nothing of any substance since close to since February.”
Mr Dobson said the fire earlier this month was about 10km north-west of his property, and they implemented their fire management plan.
“I was at Springsure and my wife Nicky was home alone, moving horses and people and dealing with the kids.”