A senior meteorologist says a “rare” weather pattern will smash one state, with a lengthy deluge of rain and almost “guaranteed” flooding.
A “rare” weather pattern is set to lash almost all of Queensland, hitting parts of the state with nearly 10 months of rain over the course of just days.
The destructive weather event is forecasted to bring severe thunderstorms and “guaranteed” flooding.
Sky News’ Senior Meteorologist, Thomas Saunders said the sunshine state would be pelted with a record-breaking slate of rain that could total widespread falls near 200 to 250mm in some areas.
The rare weather pattern will see “a very humid tropical air mass collide with a colder Southern Ocean air mass” which could create days of thunderstorms, Mr Saunders told news.com.au. The state’s western area could see “nearly 10 times the monthly average,” while other areas could be hit with more than five times the monthly average over a few days.
“We could see May rain records broken in the towns and cities which end up seeing the heaviest falls,” Mr Saunders said.
Qld set for a stormy weekend
Showers and potential thunderstorms are set to begin in southern and south east Queensland from Thurday, with the rain moving north across central and tropical Queensland throughout the weekend.
The Bureau of Meteorology said there was a “chance for thunderstorms” across central and eastern Queensland on Thursday, with a low chance of severe thunderstorms in the state’s southeast.
“Essentially by Sunday night all of Queensland apart from the far western districts will have seen rain and possibly lightning and thunder,” Mr Saunders said.
“The storms have the potential to be severe with flash flooding, damaging winds and hail.”
From Monday, the storms will “transition into solid rain as opposed to thunderstorms,” with the deluge forecasted to continue into the rest of the week. In a rainmap from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, nearly the entire state of Queensland will be enveloped in some sort of wet weather pattern that is well above the state’s monthly average.
“During the next week most of Queensland east of about Cunnamulla to Winton to Kowanyama will receive at least 50mm of rain,” he said.
“Most of central Queensland and the coastal districts should receive at least 100mm of rain with totals closer to 200mm in many locations.
“Widespread falls near 200 to 250mm are possible in coastal areas south of about Townsville.”
‘Flooding is guaranteed’
Looking at the bout of wet weather forecasted to hit, Mr Saunders feared the event is almost “guaranteed” to result in flooding. He estimated that most of the state will receive rainfalls “well above” what was seen in late February, just weeks ago. The exception will be in the southeast corner of the state – which includes Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and the Sunshine Coast. In these areas, the rain will be “significantly less”.
”There’s just no way heavy rain in the hundreds of millimetres can fall across such a large area and not produce flooding,” he added.
In certain areas, the risk is heightened due to the heavy rain from the last two weeks as well.
“The risk of flooding is heightened due to heavy rain across the state just 2 weeks ago, meaning catchments are wet and will respond rapidly to further rain,” he said.
“It’s hard to forecast which areas will be worst affected at this stage however there is some model consensus coastal regions will see the heaviest falls.”
Multiple states across Australia were hit with record-breaking levels of rain this year as the La Nina weather system bought record levels of rainfall. In late February, floods across Queensland ravaged Brisbane and other areas of south eastern Queensland, as well as the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Maryborough and Gympie.