Some Queensland cities may experience five to ten times the normal rainfall in May, before the rainy weather heads south into NSW and Victoria.
This week, parts of Queensland are expected to rain more than five times the monthly average in May this week as severe rain and flooding hits the state.
The pockets of the state could receive up to 500mm of rain before the storms move south into NSW and Victoria.
SkyWeather Chief Meteorologist Tom Saunders said Central West Queensland averages around 25mm for the entire month of May, but some areas would see more than 100mm and others more than 150mm during the week.
“In many coastal areas, 200-300 mm of rain are observed and pockets of up to 500 mm are possible,” he said.
“You really have to call it a statewide rain and flood event. Large floods are almost guaranteed in parts of the west and pockets of large floods are also likely for the eastern coastal areas. “
On Monday afternoon, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned people across the state to stay safe and said they were monitoring the areas west and coast from Cairns to Mackay very closely.
“We have been informed by the Bureau of Meteorology that cities like Longreach could experience five to ten times the normal rainfall in May, so this is a severe weather event and we are urging people to be absolutely careful out there,” he said.
Queensland Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan reiterated safety messages, including “if it’s flooded, forget it” and “don’t be out in the pouring rain unless you have to.”
“Wherever you are in the state, we expect it to rain,” he said. “In some parts it will be heavy and intense. Make sure you plan ahead of any trips you are on.
How the rain event will take place
Mr Saunders said on Tuesday there will be heavy falls across central west and north west Queensland, as well as on the coast.
He said the rain would spread just beyond the NSW border.
“The heaviest rainfall ever shifts to Queensland’s tropical coast on Wednesday and Thursday, when a low pressure area forms near the coast, it begins to travel further south to Queensland’s central and then southern tropical coast.” Saunders explained.
“Meanwhile until Wednesday and Thursday we will still have areas of rain in the western parts of Queensland.”
As for the amount of rain that would fall each day, Saunders said it was “easily over 100mm”.
“But associated with storms we could see a 150mm drop in a period of just six hours,” he said, which could lead to dangerous flash floods.
“On Thursday the heaviest rain will move along the coast towards south-east Queensland and on Friday the heavy rain will continue through the south-east.”
At that point, the rest of the state seems mostly clear.
On Wednesday, the rain will move all the way down to parts of Victoria.
But when he leaves on Friday and takes to the sea, another “burst of rain” will begin to move from the west.
“It means that diffuse totals (of rain) of around 50mm in the southeastern hinterland and up to 100mm are possible over the next eight days,” said Saunders. “So there will be pockets of floods in NSW”
Tropical cyclone Karim
A band of rain will hit the bottom of Western Australia towards the end of Wednesday and Thursday due to tropical cyclone Karim.
Sky Weather Meteorologist Rob Sharpe said there could be totals up to 100mm in the southwest corner.
According to Weatherzone, the unusually warm water on the eastern Indian Ocean helped generate the unseasonable tropical cyclone.
The Australian cyclone season officially runs from November to April.
The latest BOM update on Tuesday morning said tropical cyclone Karim (category two) was not expected to have a direct impact on the mainland or islands off Western Australia.
It is expected to gradually weaken throughout the day and then weaken below the intensity of the tropical cyclone on Wednesday.
Originally published as Safety warning as record-breaking “heavy” rain hits the east coast