Queensland and inland parts of NSW have been put on alert with the states set to receive a deluge of rain as the cold front that’s soaking southern Australia moves north.
Many parts of the country have already received a battering, with thousands of homes losing power in Tasmania on Friday and some schools being forced to close their doors.
In Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has issued severe weather warnings, after a storm system developed over the Darling Downs, bringing heavy rain to the Lockyer Valley and Ipswich.
Conditions are expected to intensify on Monday, as the cold front in the south continues to move north.
“This cold pool of air that caused all the freezing temperatures and strong winds through Adelaide, Melbourne and into NSW on Friday, and is bringing snow to the Snowy Mountains, is basically just heading straight north,” Weatherzone Meteorologist Chris Matthews said.
“That system is going to bring lots of rain to Queensland and as the upper level dynamics sharpen up, rather than change west-easterly as usually happens, it’s going to come more north-south.”
“The rainfall in Queensland is basically going to get sucked down into inland parts of NSW. Parts that have already seen quite a lot of rain already this year.”
Areas to be hit with 200mm of rain
While parts of Queensland’s south have already copped a drenching on Friday, the cold front is expected to really hit from Monday.
As it develops across the state, Mr Matthews warns some coastal areas up around Mackay on the east coast could receive up to 200mm of rain.
High totals are also expected from Townsville in the north, down the Capricornia coast to central and south-east Queensland.
The system is then set to reach inland NSW by early Wednesday morning, with Bourke in the north west and Cobar in the central western region to be the worst hit.
“Some of those places are looking at 50 to 80mm, depending just how intense the system actually gets,” Mr Matthews said.
“There is still a lot of tropical moisture around up north, so if all of that comes as far south as NSW, then we could definitely see some rather large totals.”
While the rain isn’t expected to be as heavy as what the east coast saw earlier this year – when it was battered by system after system – experts are still on edge.
“The ground is obviously a lot wetter than it has been in years gone by, but certainly this system doesn’t look as bad as the beginning of the year,” Mr Matthews said.
“That’s not to say we won’t get further flooding – there are still a lot of flood warnings out, especially in the far west of Queensland.”
Queenslanders urged to prepare
With several severe weather warnings in place, Ms Palaszczuk is urging Queenslanders to spend the weekend preparing their homes for the deluge.
“We’re expecting higher rainfall totals than we have seen before in May,” she said on Friday.
“It is very unusual to see this type of situation occurring, and we will be monitoring it very carefully.”
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