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Possible rain relief for flood-weary northern Queensland

Ben Domensino, Wednesday February 6, 2019 - 12:01 EDT

An end to northern Queensland's record-breaking rainfall could be in sight.

The tropical low and monsoon trough that have caused flooding rain in northern Queensland during the last fortnight could finally move away from the sodden state later this week.

A number of forecast models indicate the tropical low and trough should move east over the next few days, possibly heading out into the Tasman Sea from Friday or the weekend. It should be pointed out that there is still a fair degree of model uncertainty regarding the movement of the low and trough later in the week.

Image: ECMWF-HRES model prediction of the tropical low's position on Saturday, February 9th.

The departure of this stubborn system would bring an end to a record-breaking rain event in parts of northern Queensland.

As of 9am on Wednesday, Townsville Airport had recorded 1,257mm of rain during the last 10 days. This exceeds their annual average of 1128mm. It also brings their running total for 2019 to 1,310mm, making this Townsville's wettest year since 2012.

Further west, Richmond Post office has registered 555mm of rain during the last nine days, exceeding their annual average of 474mm. This is Richmond's wettest nine day period in 121 years of records.

Despite rain potentially easing in northern Queensland later in the week, heavy falls are still likely during the next couple of days. Riverine flooding in the wake of the recent deluge will also continue for weeks to come in some areas.

If the low moes out into the Coral Sea, it will be watched closely for any potential tropical cyclone development.

Keep up to date with the latest weather warnings, flood advisories and tropical cyclone information during the next week.

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