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Rain forecast in southern Queensland brings 'temporary reprieve' to firefighters

By Rebecca Hyam, Friday October 11, 2019 - 07:47 EDT
ABC licensed image
Parts of Queensland have been well below previous record lows in the past nine months. - ABC licensed

A drenching is on its way for Queensland, with parts of the state set to receive their best rainfall in months today and on Saturday.

But the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned there was also the potential for severe thunderstorms and damaging hail in some areas.

The Bureau said an upper trough moving into southern Queensland is set to bring showers and thunderstorms to areas south of Bowen, through the Coalfields, Central Highlands, Darling Downs and south-eastern districts.

Meteorologist Jess Gardner said it was welcome news for the southern regions in particular, which have had an incredibly dry run this year.

"In the south and the Southern Downs, there are some places where the last nine months of rainfall have been more than 20 per cent below previous record lows," she said.

"So they really have some very, very dry conditions indeed and this is definitely the most decent rainfall that we've forecast for them for a few months."

The BOM said today's rainfall amounts will be highly variable, but many people could expect between 5 and 10 millimetres, with isolated totals of 15mm to 30mm.


Thunderstorms ahead in south-east

Ms Gardner said the rain would move east on Saturday, with showers and thunderstorms slowly contracting to the south-east coast.

"Rainfall amounts will again be variable on Saturday with the south-east coast expecting to see 15 to 30 millimetres, with isolated heavier falls of about 40mm to 70mm or more, with those showers and thunderstorms," Ms Gardner said.

Thunderstorm activity would be confined to the eastern regions.

"There is a chance of some severe storms, and with those as well as the rainfall, we can see some hail and some damaging winds as well, so we are just urging people to keep an eye on our forecasts and warnings," Ms Gardner said.

"It's quite a broad area where we could see severe thunderstorms, so any storm that pops up does have the potential to be severe."

Further west, the forecast is for more isolated showers and storm activity.

East of Miles and Inglewood, 5 to 20mm of rain is expected and Surat is also tipped to record a few millimetres.

Some welcome rest for firefighters

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Acting Assistant Commissioner Megan Stiffler said while the wet weather was good news, it would provide just a short respite from what has .

"It's a welcome reprieve, although it's only a temporary reprieve — so the fire danger is expected to decrease to low and moderate around the south-east coast on Friday," she said.

"What that allows us to do is get in some rest for our firefighters who have been busy since the 1st of September.

"But whatever rain we get, it's really important that people realise that it won't have a huge impact on the whole fire season.

"What it will do is impact us for a couple of days, but then those hot winds will dry the rain out."

As of 4:00pm on Thursday, 34 bushfires were still burning, within containment lines, throughout Queensland.


© ABC 2019

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