97-year-old record under threat


Widespread rain has been falling across Townsville since Wednesday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology satellite image shows the thick cloud across Australia’s east at 10am Friday.

THE rains have come to Queensland — and the forecast “huge weather event” has arrived on most of Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Parts of Queensland’s north, still reeling from March’s destructive Cyclone Debbie, have received as much as five times their average May rainfall in just two days.

Flood warnings are in place for almost all coastal areas north of Gladstone.

Severe weather warnings have been issued in Victoria and Tasmania, though later cancelled in Victoria, with heavy rainfall and strong winds also lashing the south.

The Queensland Bureau of Meteorology’s Julian De Morton said “quite a few towns” between Townsville and Mackay had received more than 200mm of rain over the past 48 hours.

The Townsville Bulletin reports Townsville Airport nudged a 97-year-old rain record over the past 24 hours. There, 120.8mm fell, just 1.2mm short of the level set in 1914.

May is typically a dry month in the tropics, where the average monthly rainfall is about 30mm to 50mm.

Jack Muller, 10, enjoys the heavy rain in Townsville. Picture: Wesley Monts

Jack Muller, 10, enjoys the heavy rain in Townsville. Picture: Wesley MontsSource:News Corp Australia

“A lot of the places around the coast, from Bowen through to Rollingstone are normally quite dry at this time of year, so they have broken their average May rainfall quite significantly,” he said.

“An upper trough has moved over that area and it’s helped a surface trough in the area develop, which has caused two days worth of solid rain.

“But the upper trough should move offshore and weaken through this afternoon and evening, which will see the easing of rain and pretty good conditions for the weekend.”

Rain is also falling in the south of the state and into northern New South Wales, but, as part of a different system, is not expected to bring anywhere near the rainfall totals the north has received.

Mr De Morton said flooding was not expected in the area, which would, nonetheless, also receive higher than average rainfall.

Sky News rain forecast shows the extent of Friday’s heavy rain.

Sky News rain forecast shows the extent of Friday’s heavy rain.Source:Supplied

“It’s not as significant a system around the southeast and it’s not going for as long a time,” he said.

“We’re looking at falls around 30mm to 80mm marks, though we have seen some falls around Bribie Island close to 100mm already this morning.

“It will pick up this afternoon and we certainly see an increase of rain through this afternoon and evening but it will clear up by tomorrow morning.”

Thunderstorms are also expected in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, though skies are tipped to clear as the weekend progresses.



The heaviest rain has come and gone in the state’s north, according to the bureau. The upper trough causing the rain will move out to sea on Friday, clearing for a fine weekend. In the south, rain will increase throughout Friday, but clear on Saturday morning.

New South Wales

Rain is expected to continue in New South Wales for much of the weekend, though it will ease on Sunday. The drenching in Queensland is not expected, but Friday and Saturday rain is expected in coastal areas, before easing on Sunday.

Victoria and Tasmania

Thunderstorms are tipped for Friday in the southern states but rain will ease as the weekend progresses. There is just a 40 per cent chance of rain on Saturday in Melbourne and five per cent on Sunday. Sunny days are forecast. Tasmania is expected to receive its rainfall on Saturday, but it will clear on Sunday, with a 40 per cent chance of morning showers.

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