by Staff writers
AS MUCH much as three months worth of rain is expected to drench parts of central and north Queensland coast today before the extreme low descends on south-east Queensland tomorrow.
Hamilton Island has already passed its monthly May average of 78mm, with 86.4mm being recorded in the past 24 hours, while Bowen Airport received 72mm during the same period.
A flood warning from the Bureau of Meteorology suggests there could be "isolated falls" of up to 400mm between Tully and Gladstone, prompting a major flood warning.
The impact of the potentially flooding rains will be felt most in regions still reeling from the destruction delivered by Tropical Cyclone Debbie earlier this year.
Bureau Of Meteorology forecaster Julian De Morton said when the low trough finally passes, areas between Gladstone and Tully, and west to Hughenden, will have received falls between 100m and 200mm.
"We've had reasonable falls already through the region and the highest total is Preston which has had 114mm and Mingela has had 100mm," Mr De Morton told The Courier-Mail.
"Over the course of the event it will be more likely 100m to 200m over most of the region, if you go north of Gladstone through to Tully out to Hughenden and Clermont.
"That's the main region where we are expecting the decent falls of rain and we have a flood watch out as well."
He said the rainfall average for May varies widely with Townsville usually receiving only 32mm while Mackay averages 104mm for the month.
WHERE IT'S FALLING:
- Bowen: 150-200mm
- Bundaberg: 1-5mm
- Charleville: 1-5mm
- Dalby: nil
- Fraser Coast: 1-5mm
- Gladstone: 15-25mm
- Gympie: 1-5mm
- Ipswich: nil
- Mackay: 50-100mm
- Moranbah: 50-100mm
- Rockhampton: 25-50mm
- Sunshine Coast: 1-5mm
- Toowoomba: nil
- Warwick: nil
- Coffs Harbour: nil
- Grafton: nil
- Lismore: nil
- Tweed: nil
- Bowen / Proserpine: 150-200mm
- Bundaberg: 10-15mm
- Charleville: 10-15mm
- Dalby: 1-5mm
- Fraser Coast: 10-15mm
- Gladstone: 10-15mm
- Gympie: 15-25mm
- Ipswich: 25-50mm
- Mackay: 25-50mm
- Moranbah: 25-50mm
- Rockhampton: 15-25mm
- Sunshine Coast: 25-50mm
- Toowoomba: 10-15mm
- Warwick: 10-15mm
- Coffs Harbour: 10-15mm
- Grafton: 15-25mm
- Lismore: 15-25mm
- Tweed: 25-50mm
The low system will start to take a grip on southeast Queensland and northern NSW tonight and won't subside until early Saturday morning.
"We'll see a similar trough causing this rain (in central and north Queensland), tomorrow where we will see falls between 25mm and 75mm and in some areas there will be falls higher than that," he said.
"A lot of places in the southeast will see their May average as well."
The average May rainfall for Brisbane is 71mm while the Sunshine Coast averages 152mm and the Gold Coast 127mm. "We may not see the Sunshine Coast average its monthly rainfall."
He said the rain should ease by early Saturday morning and racegoers heading to Doomben for the second day of the May Winter Carnival can expect a relatively dry afternoon.
"The weekend is looking good for most of Queensland," he said.
"By 10am there may be a chance of a shower but it should be fairly dry day by then."
Emergency services minister Mark Ryan urged Queenslanders facing rainy conditions to avoid "unnecessary risks".
"We need people to be safe and not take unnecessary risks when driving through floodwater, have a Plan B and avoid driving altogether if possible," he said.
"Please don't put your life, and the lives of our emergency services personnel at risk unnecessarily.
"No matter what the road may look like, you never know what is lurking underneath and we want everyone to do the right thing."
During Cyclone Debbie, 220 people were pulled from floodwaters, particularly near rivers.
If you need emergency help, phone Triple Zero (000) or 132 500 for emergency storm/flood assistance from the State Emergency Service.