Rain relief: Widespread rainfall forecasted for central, north west Qld later this week

Ben Harden
By Ben Harden
Updated January 19 2022 - 2:39am, first published 1:00am
Widespread thunderstorms across the central west interior brought significant rainfall to the region, causing minor flooding at Wellshot Creek, near Longreach on Wednesday morning. Photo: Frank Standfast

Widespread thunderstorms brought much relief to drought-stricken towns across central and north west Queensland on Tuesday night, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) predicting more rain is on the way.

An inland trough was expected to merge with another second trough and tropical moisture later this week, with more thunderstorms and isolated heavy falls forecasted.

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Among the largest totals recorded on Wednesday morning were Longreach on 55 millimetres, IIfracombe 75mm, Gillespie 81mm, and Canobie 95mm.

Queensland Rainfall. Map: BoM

BoM atmospheric scientist Brooke Pagel said the thunderstorms were caused by a humid and unstable airmass occurring in the interior of Queensland at the moment.

"It is moving slowly extend east and it is triggering thunderstorms and rainfall especially for that interior and out west as well," Ms Pagel said.

"A trough is also extending over the southern and central inland with that secondary trough in the far southwest.

"We do have a weak ridge that extends along the east coast and that inland trough will retreat westwards over the next day or two and it will merge with the second tough as well."

Rainfall: Total Forecast Rainfall for 19-26 January. Map: BoM

BoM is predicting that the humid and unstable airmass will bring tropical moisture in from ex-Tropical Cyclone Tiffany, with more thunderstorms and isolated heavy rainfall forecasted.

Ms Pagel said a trough in the western interior is likely to contract to the west of the state on Friday.

"A ridge along the east coast will strengthen and extend into the central interior. A weak trough over the far northern Coral Sea may move over the Peninsula," she said.

"Looking at the thunderstorm forecast map on Wednesday, pretty much everywhere that is west of Georgetown and downwards will receive possible thunderstorms, with possible server thunderstorms predicted in the central west and Darling Downs region.

"The main area we're looking at for likely severe thunderstorms, potentially on Wednesday Is parts of the southwest, the Warrego area and southeast corner of channel."

BoM said there's a 25pc chance of 25 to 50mm of rain on Wednesday for Central Queensland, north-western interior and up north at the Gulf country.

There's a 10pc chance of 50 to 100mm in the central and southern interior, with a slight risk of 80 plus millimeters, accumulated in the isolated thunderstorms for the southern to Western interior.

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Ben Harden

Ben Harden

Queensland Country Life Journalist

Based in Rockhampton, Central Queensland. Contact: 0437528907

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