The usual song and dance surrounding weather in March in QLD continues to follow the routine of what one should expect at this time of year.

The positive SAM phase from this week is now playing out with a significant risk of widespread falls for eastern and southeast parts of the state and the threat of heavy rainfall is quite high with storms in the coming days over areas that do not need it. Storms could also produce damaging winds and large hail over the weekend.

Along the east coast, the onshore winds will bring showery periods back to coastal areas with the risk of moderate falls between Hervey Bay and Townsville. But as you get over the FNQ coast and Cape York, the rainfall coverage begins to really pick up as we see the MJO moving through.

Now the tropical rainfall forecast from last week to be heavy over the north of QLD, looks to be losing steam as the MJO moves out of the region and quickly turns to the equator. So we could see just seasonal rainfall expectations now, but will continue to watch.

There is another wild card for rainfall in the north and that is the development of a tropical low near the Top End of the NT, but it is likely that if it forms, that system will move west bound with just routine weather continuing for the north.

Will keep an eye on the trade winds for the period ahead but overall it is looking relatively seasonal.

Western areas and perhaps scattered areas of central QLD, looking dry, with a dry airmass and ridging moving in from SA.

Lets take a look


Rainfall Next 10 Days

Rainfall will be hard to find over the western third of the state where dry air and high pressure ridging in from the west will be in control for at least the coming week. The rainfall over the east will be quite heavy at times with the trough over the southeast of the state linking into deep moisture that is dragged in via northeast to easterly winds. We could see persistent showers over the period for SE QLD and through the Wide Bay which could net some areas closer to 50mm through this time. Some areas could clear that rainfall total quite easily with thunderstorms. Inland areas, use the below as a guide with the rainfall uneven in distribution due to the thunderstorm activity that is forecast. Some of those falls through the Downs, Granite Belt and also extending into the lower parts of the Central West and Coalfields may clear 50mm with thunderstorms. Over the north, heavy rainfall is possible with widespread showers and thunderstorms continuing through the period, though not as heavy as previous weeks.

Thunderstorm Forecast Friday

Thunderstorms are ongoing over the southeast and south of QLD tonight and they will persist overnight and continue into Friday. Some of the storms could be severe overnight and again during Friday with heavy rainfall and damaging winds the main issues at this time.

Flash Flood Risk Friday

Flash flooding via thunderstorms over the southern inland and extending towards the Great Dividing Range remains elevated this evening but also through Friday with thunderstorms producing rainfall rates of 100mm/hr in some areas. The storm motion is modest so they will likely move away but totals could still exceed 50mm an hour under such guide.

Damaging Winds Risk Friday

Damaging winds with organised multicellular storms are quite likely during Friday afternoon and evening as the storms progress towards the coast. The risk diminishes in the evening.

DATA - Refer to the video for further information and it is critical to keep check of the data sets to understand where the next major weather events are emerging from outside of this period. It may be quiet now but I am all about preparation and ensuring that information is shared with you as soon as it is available.

00Z GFS - Surface Pressure Pattern and Rainfall Distribution - Next 2 Weeks

The latest GFS is now moving more into line with the Euro and we are starting to see the models converge on the idea of where the driest weather will be and where the heaviest of rainfall and severe weather potential will be. As pointed out in the video, the west, north and east of the nation carry the higher risk of seeing widespread rainfall with above average rainfall possible. Over the east, the rainfall could lead to flooding along the NSW coast. Over the northern tropics, watching the emergence of the tropical low over the weekend and what that does next week, though the latest GFS is in line with the Euro and produces a system that deepens into a cyclone near to the north of the NT and then heads west bound. That will be a feature to watch. And in the west, the remains of Charlotte still hard to pin down but there is now growing evidence that the heavier rainfall for the west may actually come next week with a deeper moisture developing offshore the northwest of the nation being drawn southeast in the wake of Charlotte. If you are in the southern NT, SA, western and northern VIC, southern and western NSW and western QLD., it will be likely dry for a while.

00Z GFS - Precipitable Water Values - Next 2 Weeks

The moisture distribution is unchanged from this morning where we see the moisture damming over the north and east in the current climate drivers allowing these areas to remain humid and the threat of above average rainfall to develop remaining also quite high. The west seeing constant moisture streaming in from the Indian Ocean via the jet stream. Also the moisture over the east coast will move into an upper low which will trigger severe storms in the short term, this likely to move out next week. Dry air stays put over the remainder of the central and southern/southeast inland for the next week with very little change expected to this.

00Z GFS - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 10 Days

Refer to the video for more context and analysis

00Z CMC - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 10 Days

Refer to the video for more context and analysis

00Z GFS - Rainfall Accumulation - Next 2 Weeks

Refer to the video for more context and analysis

A closer look in - this forecast is very low confidence into the medium term and I want to stress that what the models are expressing at the moment is more high amplitude synoptic patterns associated with large thermal gradients and deep moisture content. This is what causes havoc on the models so watch closely in the coming days.

More coming up from 9pm EDT with a look at the models and rainfall, I will only share information that is in reasonable agreement as too much is too confusing and I only want to share what is plausible at this time, so stay tuned for that.

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