Late season downpour heading to tropical QLDBrett Dutschke, Sunday April 7, 2013 - 08:20 EST
Much of Queensland's northeast tropics can expect heavy rain this week, making up some of the deficit of a drier-than-normal wet season so far.
The coming rain should spread across Cape York then south along the tropical coast, potentially the heaviest this late in the season in decades for some places.
It looks like focusing on the Northern Tropical Coast and Tablelands, where most models are indicating widespread falls of 100-to-300mm and potential for more than 500mm between now and Friday.
Nearly all of this rain should fall in the space of one-to-three days, most likely from Tuesday to Thursday when a developing low pressure trough reaches its peak.
It is fairly late in the season to get several hundred millimetres of rain in a few days. It is not unheard of but hasn't happened in a long while.
The last time Cairns and Innisfail gained 300mm in three days in April was in 1949.
Given the northern tropics drier-than-normal wet season so far, much of this coming rain will have little trouble in being absorbed by the rivers and surrounds. However, built-up areas such as Cooktown, Cairns and Innisfail could experience their biggest flooding this season.
Residents will be donning their wet-weather gear, something they have not had to do often this wet season. Cairns has only had one day with more than 50mm of rain so far.
Since the wet season officially began in October, Cairns and Cooktown are sitting on about 40 percent of their seasonal average rainfall and Innisfail about 60 percent.
Areas that don't need the rain so much are parts of far northern Cape York Peninsula and the Central Coast, where recent rainfall has been generally enough.
Parts of the Central Coast, including Mackay, Yeppoon and Rockhampton have already exceeded their wet-season average. These areas will see an increase in showers during the week as the low pressure trough edges south, potentially adding up to more than 100mm by the end of the week.
© Weatherzone 2013
More breaking news
For the majority of Australia April was warmer and drier than average.
Strong winds and heavy rain lashed parts of Victoria overnight, with hundreds of residents calling the State Emergency Service (SES) for help.
Heavy rains across Tasmania could bring relief for the state's farmers and severely depleted hydroelectric dams.