Unseasonable rain in north as mercury plummets

Rain forecast for north and north west Queensland in late May

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Unseasonable rain has lashed parts of North Queensland with over 300mm of rain falling in the Tully River catchment in just 24 hours.

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Widespread rain has already lashed the tropical north coast, with inland areas set to get their turn later this week. Expected rain for Thursday, May 21. Image: BoM.

Widespread rain has already lashed the tropical north coast, with inland areas set to get their turn later this week. Expected rain for Thursday, May 21. Image: BoM.

UNSEASONABLE rain has lashed parts of North Queensland with more than 300mm of rain falling in the Tully River catchment in just 24 hours.

And inland farmers in the region will not miss out, with a weather system tracking from the west likely to deliver welcome rain later this week.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rosa Hoff said persistent coastal showers around the wet tropics yesterday brought heavy rainfall of about 100mm to 300mm to areas between Cairns and Ingham.

Bulgun Creek inland from Tully received the highest total with 339mm in the 24 hours to 9am, and a further 60mm to 4pm today.

Menavale received 248mm in the 24 hours to 9am, which broke their daily May rainfall record set in 2016, while Japoonvale also got 248mm.

Tully itself received 174mm, Innisfail received 70mm and Hawkins Creek had the highest falls in the Ingham region with 54mm.

The rain caused a minor flood warning to be issued for the Tully River at Eurao, which will continue into Thursday.

Ms Hoff said while there was a lot of rain by May standards, it was not unheard of.

"These heavy rainfall bursts are not uncommon in May, during the transition between the wet and dry seasons these bursts are something that does happen," she said.

Ms Hoff said showers off the coast had combined with heavy winds which was pushing the system on shore.

She said the some rain was likely to continue on the coast until the end of the week.

Ms Hoff said activity would start to pick up in inland areas from tomorrow with some areas to receive up to 40mm.

"We have a big bank of cloud coming from the north of Western Australia, combining with a cloud bank from the south, there will be a large amount of showers and rainfall in the interior this week.

"From tomorrow we will start to see between 20mm-40mm of rain inland.... because these showers or rain areas coming from the west won't get blocked at the Great Dividing Range.

"The rain approaching from the west will be welcome for farmers inland.

"Friday and Saturday it will start to drop off with 10mm-30mm, but that is still a good amount of rain for that area in May."

Temperatures will also start to drop toward the end of the week, with daytime maximums to drop several degrees and cooler nights expected.

Ms Hoff said people out west would notice the chilly temperatures first, with a minimum of 6C forecast in Mount Isa on Sunday.

"With a bit of rain, cold temperatures and wind around it will be a bit cold for livestock in exposed areas."

A strong wind warning for the south east Gulf issued for tomorrow will rain into Friday and extend into the north east Gulf on Friday also.

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