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Welcome rain looms for eastern Australia

Ben Domensino, Tuesday June 26, 2018 - 12:22 AEST

Two rain-bearing systems could bring relief to drought-affected areas of Queensland and NSW during the next week.

Despite being nearly half way through 2018, many areas of southern Queensland and western NSW have received less than 20 per cent of their annual average rainfall.

As of 9am on Monday June 25th, Tamworth had only received 84mm of rain so far during 2018, making this its driest start to a year on record. Rainfall observations for Tamworth are available back to the late 1800's.

In Queensland, Thargomindah is having its driest start to a year since 1965, with only 25mm of rain reaching the gauge so far during 2018, as of 9am on Monday.

The dry start to 2018 has helped severe rainfall deficiencies develop across large areas of eastern Australia during the last 14 months. These areas are identified in the Bureau of Meteorology's monthly Drought Statement.

Image: Long-term rainfall deficiencies between April 2017 and May 2018. Source: Bureau of Meteorology

However, hopes are being lifted today as clouds start to build over Australia's parched eastern inland, signalling the start of some much-needed rain during the week ahead.

An upper-level trough interacting with moisture-laden air coming from the Coral Sea will produce widespread rain and thunderstorms over eastern Australia during the next 48 hours.

Rain from this system will affect parts of every district in central and southern inland Queensland and western NSW between now and Thursday night.

Accumulated rainfall totals will vary across this broad region, although widespread falls of 5-15mm are likely and some areas should pick up more than 20mm. Unfortunately, some places may also miss out altogether.

Image: Rainfall predicted by the ECMWF model between Tuesday and Thursday this week.

Drier weather will return to most areas from Friday, although more rain could be on the cards from the weekend.

A number of computer models suggest that a second upper-level trough could bring another burst of rain storms to eastern Australia between Saturday and next Tuesday.

There are indications that this second system could produce even heavier rain than the first, although it's too early to accurately predict how much will fall, and where. This system is still far enough away to be looked at with a degree of caution.

While the impending rain will bring some relief to parched areas in Queensland and NSW, it's unlikely to completely make up for the rainfall deficits that have amassed since the middle of last year.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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Ranges dividing rainfall in NSW

13:51 AEDT Eastern NSW will experience rain each day during the next week, although the state's parched west looks to miss out once again.

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