News and Views

Rain on the way for eastern states

A rain band will move from west to east across Australia’s eastern states from Wednesday (17 May 2017) to Saturday (20 May 2017), with the highest rainfall totals expected in Queensland.

Bureau National Operations Centre Senior Meteorologist Scott Williams said smaller rain totals are also expected in areas of New South Wales and Victoria from Thursday (18 May 2017), and in Tasmania from Saturday (20 May 2017).

In Queensland, a Flood Watch was issued yesterday (May 16 2017) for coastal catchments from Cairns to Gladstone, including Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton, extending inland to include parts of the Burdekin and Fitzroy catchments.

“We’re looking at Thursday (18 May 2017) being very active for rainfall on the Queensland coast, especially the area from about Innisfail to Gladstone, with totals broadly 100 to 200 mm in that area,” Mr Williams said.

Rain and isolated storms are expected in south-east coastal districts including Brisbane on Friday (19 May 2017), with decreasing rainfall in the 25 to 75 mm range, and isolated showers and storms could continue on Saturday (20 May 2017).

“We’ll see a lot of thunderstorm activity develop through western Queensland and extend down into western New South Wales. While the totals won’t be as large as in Queensland, isolated locations in western NSW could receive up to 100 mm depending on thunderstorm activity. Broadly, we are expecting between 30 and 50 mm without thunderstorms over most areas west of the Divide,” Mr Williams said.

“Rainfall amounts ranging broadly from 30 to 60 mm are also possible along the coast and eastern ranges near the Queensland border. Depending on how this system develops and tracks, and where thunderstorms develop, higher totals are possible locally in that region as well.

“With any significant rain there is the possibility of riverine and flash flooding, however we are expecting rainfall totals and flooding to be generally lower than those following ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.”

In Victoria, rain will extend across western Victoria tomorrow night (May 18 2017) into Friday (May 19 2017), with falls ranging from 30 to 50 mm across the Mallee, Northern Country and Wimmera.

Thunderstorms are possible across the north-west late on Thursday (May 18 2017), potentially bringing localised heavier falls.

“We expect 10 to 20 mm of rainfall across the south-west during the same period and rain will spread to central areas during Friday (May 19 2017), with 5 to 15 mm forecast in the Melbourne region before clearing on Saturday (May 20 2017),” Mr Williams added.

“Northern Tasmania on Saturday looks set to get 30 to 50 mm. There could be some falls there that get to 80 to 100, particularly about the higher ranges.”

The Bureau expects to issue a Flood Watch for all northern Tasmanian river basins from Thursday (May 18 2017).

Rainfall is also expected in Western Australia, as a series of cold fronts will bring much-needed rain into the south west of the State from Thursday (May 18 2017). Rainfall totals of 50 mm are possible during the event.

The public should stay tuned for the latest official forecasts and warnings from the Bureau, and follow the advice of local emergency services. Avoid travel, if possible, while warnings are in place and remember: if it’s flooded, forget it.

The most up-to-date official forecasts and warnings are available at and are also available via BOM Weather, the Bureau’s official weather app.

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