Weather News

A month's rain in a day and more on the way

Ben Domensino, Monday April 19, 2021 - 12:05 EST

Queensland's North Tropical Coast has copped a soaking over the last couple of days, with some places picking up their entire monthly average in just 24 hours. And the wet weather isn't over yet.

Moisture-laden winds feeding into a low pressure trough have been causing thick clouds and heavy rain over the northwest Coral Sea for the last couple of days.

This rain has been further enhanced by the orographic effect where it drifted over northeast Queensland. This phenomenon occurs when air flowing up the side of a mountain becomes cooler with elevation. As moisture-laden air cools, it produces more rain, like a sponge being wrung out.

Falls of 180-240mm were recorded between Cairns and Tully during the 24 hours to 9am on Monday.

Cairns (Racecource) picked up 189mm of rain during this time, which was its highest daily total in 15 months.

Further south, a rain gauge at Mulgrave Mill received 180mm. This is on par with the site's April monthly average of 184.5mm.

Mount Sophia's 240mm and Saltwater Creek's 239mm were some of the highest totals in the region during the 24 hours to 9am Monday.

Looking ahead, areas of heavy rain will continue in northeast Queensland on between now and Wednesday as the low pressure trough approaches and moves over the coast.

Image: Forecast accumulated rain during the next seven days (Monday to Sunday) according to the ECMWF-HRES model.

More showers and thunderstorms are likely from Thursday onwards, with the potential for more heavy falls along the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands District through to the weekend.

This prolonged spell of wet weather may cause some flooding, so be sure to check the latest flood watches and warnings throughout the week.

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