A senior meteorologist says a “rare” weather pattern will destroy a state, with a long rain delay and almost “guaranteed” flooding.
A “rare” weather pattern is set to hit nearly all of Queensland, hitting parts of the state with nearly 10 months of rain over the course of just a few days.
The destructive weather event is expected to bring severe thunderstorms and “guaranteed” floods.
Sky News senior meteorologist Thomas Saunders said the state of the sun will be hit by record rainfall that could total widespread drops close to 200-250mm in some areas.
The rare weather pattern will see “very humid tropical air mass collide with cooler Southern Ocean air mass” that could create days of thunderstorms, Saunders told news.com.au. The western area of the state could see “nearly 10 times the monthly average,” while other areas could be hit with more than five times the monthly average within days.
“We may see May rain records broken in cities that end up seeing the heaviest falls,” Saunders said.
Qld is ready for a stormy weekend
Showers and potential thunderstorms will begin in southern and southeastern Queensland on Thursday, with the rain moving north across central and tropical Queensland throughout the weekend.
The Bureau of Meteorology said Thursday there is a “chance of thunderstorms” in central and eastern Queensland, with a low probability of severe thunderstorms in the southeastern state.
“Essentially by Sunday night all of Queensland, apart from the westernmost boroughs, will have seen rain and possibly lightning and thunder,” Saunders said.
“Storms have the potential to be violent with flash floods, damaging winds and hail.”
From Monday, the storms “will turn into pouring rain instead of thunderstorms,” with the expected delay continuing into the rest of the week. In a rain map from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, nearly the entire state of Queensland will be enveloped in some sort of rainy weather pattern that is well above the state’s monthly average.
“During the next week most of Queensland east of Cunnamulla, from Winton to Kowanyama will receive at least 50mm of rain,” he said.
“Most of central Queensland and coastal districts are expected to receive at least 100mm of rainfall with a total closer to 200mm in many locations.
“Widespread falls close to 200-250 mm are possible in coastal areas south of Townsville.”
“Floods are guaranteed”
Observing the expected rainy period, Saunders feared that the event would be almost “guaranteed” to cause flooding. He estimated that most of the state will receive rainfall “well above” what was seen at the end of February, a few weeks ago. The exception will be in the southeastern corner of the state, which includes Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, and Sunshine Coast. In these areas, the rainfall will be “significantly less”.
“There is no way that heavy rains of hundreds of millimeters can fall over such a large area and not produce flooding,” he added.
In some areas the risk has also increased due to the heavy rains of the last two weeks.
“The risk of flooding increased due to heavy rainfall across the state just 2 weeks ago, which means that watersheds are wet and will respond quickly to further rainfall,” he said.
“It is difficult to predict which areas will be most affected at this stage, however there is a model consensus that coastal regions will see the heaviest falls.”
Several states across Australia have been hit by record levels of rainfall this year as the La Nina weather system has acquired record levels of rainfall. In late February, floods in Queensland devastated Brisbane and other areas of southeastern Queensland, as well as the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Maryborough and Gympie.
Originally published as Queensland Rain: Been hit by 10 months of rain in days