First Ashes Test weather forecast not as bad as it looks
If you took just a quick glance at weather icons for the five days of the first Ashes Test between Australia and England at The Gabba in Brisbane from Wednesday December 8 through to Sunday December 12, you might go, "Uh-oh, there's going to be more rain than cricket".
And while some rain interruptions to the Test are highly likely – especially during the first three days – overall the forecast is not that bad. Indeed the strong likelihood is that enough play should be possible to generate a result in the match rather than a rain-affected draw.
We'll run through the day-by-day conditions a little lower down. But first, here's an overview of the general weather situation in southeast Queensland.
The current weather situation in SE Qld
"We're looking at a pretty typical southeast Queensland summer set-up where you've got a low pressure trough sitting inland, with moisture feeding into the trough from the Coral Sea which will produce showers and thunderstorms," Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino explains.
It's a shame the cricket doesn't start today, as Monday and Tuesday appear likely to be the driest days of the working week in Brisbane.
That's because the trough is currently located over western Queensland, which means moist air will move over Brisbane without producing much, if anything, in the way of rain early this week.
But by Wednesday, the trough will slowly drift eastwards, with shower and storm activity over the Darling Downs and southeast Queensland – right on cue for the first day of the first Test on Wednesday.
Day-by-day Brisbane weather for the first Test
Wednesday: It should be dry to start with, with the chance of a shower or storm later as the heat of the day causes warm air to rise. Along with Thursday, this is potentially the wettest day of the Test.
Chance of any rain: 60%
Thursday: A similar situation to Wednesday, with the trough now stationed directly over southeast Queensland. Along with Wednesday, this is potentially the wettest day of the Test.
Chance of any rain: 70%
Friday: Again, the potential for rain is moderate, increasing in the afternoon.
Chance of any rain: 60%
Saturday: Only the chance of a light shower as the trough moves offshore.
Chance of any rain: 40%
Sunday: Again, only the chance of a light shower.
Chance of any rain: 50%
As mentioned, there's at least some chance of rain every day. But this is not the sort of weather pattern where relentless steady rain will lash the southeast Queensland coastline, washing out entire days of play. More likely, an hour or two will be lost here and there, especially post-lunch and into the afternoon sessions.
Of course, severe storms could throw a spanner in the works. Some absolutely cracking hailstorms have hammered the Gabba over the years, and that sort of weather can never be ruled out in this type of weather set-up.
But overall, it appears likely that there will be more play than rain delays over the course of the 2021 Gabba Ashes Test.