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Queensland set for heavy rainfall as severe thunderstorms move across state

Wednesday November 10, 2021 - 04:39 AEDT
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Clouds over Badalia Station, west of Boulia. - ABC

Large parts of Queensland are set to be drenched over the next few days as severe thunderstorms move across the state.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has forecast widespread falls of 20 to 50 millimetres, but some areas could see totals exceeding 100 millimetres.

BOM forecaster Grace Legge said areas in central and south-east Queensland would be the worst affected.

"These thunderstorms bring a risk of winds, rain and even hail, but the rain will be really the main risk if they are a bit slower-moving," Ms Legge said.

"But, as we move into Thursday, we'll really start to see that rainfall pick up and Thursday into the start of Friday will probably be the peak of the rainfall that we're seeing as moisture that has been building further west starts to move through, ahead of a low-pressure system that's moving just south of the state."

Some regions to exceed November average

Overnight, Samuel Hill, north of Yeppoon, recorded rainfall of 340 millimetres, the highest in the state and more than five times its November average rainfall.

Meanwhile, the rail line is closed between Glen Geddes and Kooltandra north of Rockhampton.

There was damage to the track due to the heavy rain last night and inspections are underway.

The northbound Spirit of Queensland was affected and rail replacement buses are in place for those passengers.

If you're thinking it's been an unusually wet start to summer in Queensland, you'd be right.

Ms Legge said some regions could have also exceeded their average November rainfall totals already.

"We definitely could see quite a substantial area of rainfall and it is a bit unseasonable for some of these parts," Ms Legge said.

"Normally, we start to see it a lot more as we head into the wet season, with those tropical lows, but this is more [a] very moist air mass and it's been interacting with that low-pressure system, which is more coming from the mid-latitudes rather than the tropics."

Anyone residing in the areas forecast to be hit by the severe thunderstorms has been urged to keep up to date with warnings from emergency services and to prepare accordingly.

Flood warnings issued

The BOM has issued several flash-flood warnings, due to overnight rainfall, with more falls expected.

"We have a minor flood warning already out for the Paroo River, a flood warning for the Diamantina River as well, and we'll definitely expect to see a lot more of those flood watches continuing over the next few days," Ms Legge said.

For avid storm chasers hoping to see a repeat of the tornado recorded at Brisbane Airport recently, Ms Legge had bad news.

"With this sort of system, we're not really expecting to see quite that setup," she said.

"That being said, we are going to see more organised thunderstorms, so it's more really going to be a risk of heavy rainfall and even strong winds with it, not so much that convection we've seen previously that has led to tornadoes."


© ABC 2021

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