Weather News

Queensland wet season in overdrive

Ben Domensino, Tuesday January 29, 2019 - 14:17 AEDT

While the monsoon was late to arrive in Australia's central and western tropics this season, parts of northern Queensland have received prolific rain during the last several weeks.

A flurry of tropical cyclones and low pressure systems during the last couple of months have helped some areas in northern Queensland collect one-and-a-half metres rain since the beginning of October.

As of 9am on Tuesday, Cairns was having its best wet season to date in 38 years, with nearly 1,500mm of rain in the gauge to date. This is already more rain than the site received during its entire 2016/17, 2015/16, 2014/15 and 2012/13 wet seasons.

Further south, Townsville Airport received 162mm of rain during the 72 hours to 9am on Tuesday, which is more than half of its 268mm January monthly average.

Looking ahead, a slow moving monsoon trough is likely to cause more heavy rain and storms over parts of Queensland's southern tropics during the next 48 hours.

From Thursday, this trough should move north and interact with a renewed burst of monsoonal winds, resulting in more intense rain and storms over already sodden areas of northern Queensland, during the second half of the week. A number of computer models indicate that more than 400mm of rain could fall in parts of northern Queensland between now and Sunday.

Image: Forecast rainfall between Tuesday and Sunday according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

The northward-moving monsoon trough also increases the chances of a tropical cyclone developing in the Gulf of Carpentaria or northwest Coral Sea later in the week.

A number of flood watches and warnings have been issued in northern and central Queensland in response to the recent rain and what's likely to fall during the week ahead.

Visit for the latest flood advisories.

- Weatherzone

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