The Dyer family 40km east of Alpha at Bloomfield is breathing a sigh of relief after overnight storms, part of the system connected to the deep low in South Australia, dropped 141mm.
It was one of the larger falls received from the trough system that brought good rain to parts of central Queensland overnight, exceeded by the Hack family at Rocklea, also east of Alpha, who had 156mm.
East of Longreach, Lance Thompson was another of the graziers with a smile on his face after the overnight storm wave, when 105mm fell at Powella, Aramac.
He said it was the best rain he’d had in one fall for probably eight or nine years.
“The road is a swamp but the high bits have dried off already,” Lance said. “It looks like another front is going to come through this afternoon so that should keep everything wet.”
Related: Longreach lashed by strong winds
The rain at Powella was heavier than experienced by neighbours, who recorded 50mm.
Coming a week after a fall of 28mm, Lance said he was expecting germination now and he hoped to see a response in about a week’s time.
“This is the first time we’ve had follow-up within a week in a long time, as long as I can remember,” he said. “We sold all the cattle we were planning to, at Roma this week, and have 400 head left now.”
Nearby, Sarah and David Fysh at Acacia Downs, recorded 38mm overnight, their largest December fall since 2012, which was followed up by 16mm on Thursday afternoon.
An inspection by motorbike showed the rain had covered most of the property, which hasn’t happened for a while.
“It was so nice to wake up to,” Sarah Fysh said, before returning to sweep the dust of previous weeks off her verandahs.
Speaking from Bloomfield, Beryl Dyer said their rain began at 2am but neighbours to the west didn’t get rain until 5am, showing the unpredictability of it.
“We’ve been off power all day but it’s such a relief,” she said. “We’ve really been hanging out for this, but we know we weren’t anything like the far west has been.”
The Alpha rain saw the Belyando River rise fast, up to .5m on the Capricorn Highway for a short while on Thursday morning.
Mrs Dyer said she knew of families who’d tried to shift cattle out of creek channels, where their last remaining feed was, only to find the water had beaten them.
“When I woke at 5am there was water everywhere but it had all soaked in by 9am, “ she said. “This will mean a lack of worry for a while, and we can have a breather until we see what’s coming next.”
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For Anne and Jason Sprague at Neverfail, north east of Blackall, the 52mm storm that hit at 3am was their best rain since January 2017.
“I’d gotten rainfall charts for next year and Jason said, why worry, we could just re-use this year’s,” Anne said. Prior to Thursday morning, they’d had 123mm for the year.
“The storm was a bit hit and miss but it mostly hit us – our smallest fall was 33mm.
“There was a heap of wind earlier in the night, without much rain, but the rain later was good, dense rain – it wasn’t mucking about.”
By 3pm, Longreach had had 60mm in total, with 30mm falling since 9am while Charleville finished with a total of 30mm for the 24 hour period.
Storm front contracting east
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster, Dean Narramore, said the storm front had run in a line from Mount Isa to Winton to Charleville and down to St George, and would move slightly east on Friday.
“There should be another day of showers and storms tomorrow but a little further east.
“For places like Alpha, Emerald and Moranbah, there could be multiple days of rain as it contracts east.
“Unfortunately, to the west of the line there’ll be isolated showers and a return to hot, windy conditions and there will be raised dust behind the trough system.”
He said the front moving through western Queensland was unconnected to Tropical Cyclone Owen.
Related: Owen promises decent rain