Storms and even general rain are forecast for much of southern and central Queensland over the next seven days.
In a major turnaround from the extremely dry conditions impacting much of the state up until late last month, Queensland’s weather is this week being dominated by a “very moist and unstable air mass”.
That’s according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Andrew Bufalino.
“It’s interesting to note that the moisture levels are similar to what we might see in late November or December,” he said.
“It’s done a pretty significant switch from very dry conditions to a very moist and unstable air mass in just a week or so.”
Many landholders have been busy reporting their latest rain totals to the Who Got the Rain? Facebook group today.
These include Julie Hawker who wrote: “Another 9mm in a surprise and very welcome storm this morning 75km SSE of Cunnamulla. Hope there’s general rain coming very soon”.
Jenny Webster reported 20mm at Goolburra Station, Wyandra while Claire Kapernick reported 4.5mm at Cloyna in the South Burnett yesterday afternoon.
“Brings the total for the week to 61.5mm. Happy farmers and happy animals,” Claire wrote.
Mr Bufalino said numerous upper troughs were expected to move across central and southern Queensland over the remainder of the week.
He said these would interact with a surface trough that would linger from the north west down to the south east.
“These two features, in combination with a pretty moist air mass on the eastern side of the trough, will cause showers and storms over the central and southern areas in the coming days,” he said.
The most active areas for rain on Tuesday will be east of a line from Thangool to Goondiwindi and Mr Bufalino warned there was potential for “some pretty strong thunderstorms” with damaging winds and rain on Tuesday afternoon.
“The following day (Wednesday) we’ll see that trough shift a little further west with more storms across the Maranoa, Warrego and the Darling Downs,” he said.
“There might also be some patchy rain and that will probably decrease the thunderstorm activity but either way we’ll see some pretty moist conditions out that way.
“Into Thursday that area will increase further and we’ll see rain from the southern interior all the way into the south east.”
Mr Bufalino said temperatures on Thursday could also expect to be below average.
He said the unsettled conditions would continue into Friday, although not along the coast.
“We are expecting some quite heavy activity (rain) although we aren’t expecting too much on the coast,” he said.
“Essentially from about Rocky to Longreach and then down to Stanthorpe – it’s a pretty broad area of very unstable conditions. There is some potential for heavy rainfall with these thunderstorms.
“Into the weekend we are expecting this area to be semi-stationary with slow moving and heavy thunderstorm activity into Saturday and Sunday.”
Mr Bufalino said the public should be aware that the BOM would not issue warnings for all thunderstorms – only those with the potential to be severe.
“A severe thunderstorm is when hail is 2cm or greater, damaging wind gusts of 90km or more and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding,” he said.