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Rain is predicted for south-east Australia this weekend, but where is it going to fall?

Kate Doyle, Friday November 1, 2019 - 15:43 EDT
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Heavy rain in central Queensland over the last few days is moving south. - ABC

Speculation has been building all week about much-needed rainfall, but now as the clouds gather on the horizon the question we are all asking is "where will get the rain?"

A slow-moving trough has and it is expected to combine with a series of cold fronts to bring rain to the country's south-east this weekend.

But it will definitely not be drought-breaking rain and the latest outlook for the next few months isn't good.

The forecast

Diana Eadie, a severe weather meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), said the areas most likely to be impacted are Tasmania, much of Victoria, and New South Wales.

"At this stage we're expecting around about 10 to 40 millimetres for over the course of Saturday," she said.

But it will be patchy.

"If you are lucky enough to be underneath one of those storms you could get, potentially, between about 60 and 80mm," Ms Eadie said.

"On Saturday the most likely areas are just to the east of Mildura and then down to the ranges — Mount Hotham and those areas through Victoria — and also areas like Hay in NSW."

Ms Eadie said as we head into Sunday that rainfall will intensify even further.

"Particularly over western parts of NSW — where it has been a long time since they've seen a good drop of rain," she said.

"Through central parts we could see about 15 to 35mm, widespread.

"On Sunday, you could see as much as a hundred millimetres in some isolated locations."

The heavier rainfall totals are expected to be around the border with NSW and Queensland, potentially down to Bourke, and all the way down along the spine of the ranges of south-east NSW, according to Ms Eadie.

Localised forecasts with the chance of different totals and timings can be found on the

What's going on?

Ms Eadie said this front is likely to deliver, where others this year have failed, because there is more moisture ahead of this system.

"We're seeing a moist tongue or a plunge of tropical moisture coming down from the north, so over Queensland, and then coming down over south-eastern and states," she said.

"So we are seeing a lot more water in the atmosphere than we normally would over those areas at this time of year."

As the event has become closer the forecast is shoring up.

"We knew that there was the potential for this rain to come, but just given the lead time previously, there was uncertainty about when this front was going to come through [and] how much moisture there would be available ahead of it," Ms Eadie said.

"The main story hasn't really changed; what we're seeing now is the details coming into focus and things are starting to line-up so that we can paint a clearer picture to the public."

Not a sign of things to come

Ms Eadie has warned for people to not get their hopes up as rain that comes from thunderstorms can be patchy.

"It's definitely good news but just with the caveat that So not everyone is going to get that significant rainfall total," she said.

"So this one event, whilst it is a good news story, people probably shouldn't be getting overly excited in terms of [it] being drought breaking.

"We do need more rain after this to really have a significant impact."

The BOM's latest outlook, released yesterday, makes it clear this rain is unlikely to be followed up by a wet summer.

Most of the country is expected to have below average rainfall from November through to January.

Daytime temperatures are also expected to be above average with increased risk of heat and fire in the coming months.

Australia is surrounded by climate drivers conspiring to keep things hot and dry at the moment.

A strong, positive is combining with a negative and the late monsoon in the north.

Their combined influence is resulting in the dry outlook despite the lack of an El Nino to the west.

This outlook doesn't rule out rain in the coming months — it just means the widespread, heavy falls that would be required to end this drought are unlikely in the foreseeable future.


© ABC 2019

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