Weather News

Could we see scenes like this at Uluru in a few days?

Anthony Sharwood, Friday January 22, 2021 - 12:50 EDT

Few sights in Australia are more spectacular than Uluru after rain, as waterfalls cascade down rocky gullies which are normally bone dry.

The last time the area saw decent rain was in October last year, when around 30 mm fell at Yulara in a day. But current models suggest even heavier rain could fall towards the end of Sunday, or more likely, on Monday.

It all depends what happens with the tropical low pressure system currently sitting about 200 kilometres off Western Australia.

Image: Now that really puts the "Oooh!" into Uluru. Source: Cassie Agnew @contiki.cas on Instagram, October 19, 2020.
That system may or may not form a tropical cyclone, but either way, it should still retain enough moisture as it tracks in a southeasterly direction to bring significant rain to the interior of WA and beyond.

"After crossing the coast, the system is expected to move down through the West Australian interior and into central Australia," Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino explains.

"At the moment, that track looks like it will cause heavy rain over the southwest of the Northern Territory, which includes the area where Uluru is located."

WZ central Aus potential rain

Image: If the ECMWF model's forecast accumulated rain comes off, the Red Centre could get very muddy. Source: ECMWF.

Forecast models currently vary on how much rain can be expected, should the moisture-laden system make its way to Central Australia, but the remnants of the tropical low could deliver as much as 100 mm in the Red Centre, some models suggest.

That would be more than enough to generate waterfalls on Uluru, and there could also be some Central Australian flooding. We'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, if you're lucky enough to be in the vicinity of this iconic Australian location in the last week of the school holidays, you'd best keep your phone or camera handy – and we'd love to share your images and videos on our social pages.

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