Flash flooding risk with more rain likely
PARTS of North Queensland are at risk of flash flooding today with the potential for heavy falls from yesterday evening pre-dicted to continue.
A severe weather warning advising the risk of flash flooding from Cooktown to Bowen was current last night.
In the eight hours since 9am Sunday 130mm had already been registered at Paluma Dam while 60mm had fallen at Poverty Hill south of Ingham. Bureau of Meteorology Townsvill e forecaster Mario Torrisi s ai d a monsoon t r ough across the far north had a tropical low embedded in it inland of Cooktown.
He said it was the convergence of airstreams between the monsoon trough and a firm coastal ridge extending northwards from a large high pressure system in the Tasman Sea which was expected to produce the increased rainfall.
‘‘ This has the potential to produce bands of heavy rain over the next couple of days in areas initially north of the Whitsundays, and particularly north of Townsville,’’ Mr Torrisi said.
‘‘ But we think the heavy rain will more than likely have contracted to the north of the Townsville area by tomorrow. ‘‘ It’s difficult to say exactly how much rain will fall but totals may certainly be sizeable enough to produce some flash flooding.’’
Mr Torrisi said the bureau was closely monitoring the situation in case further flood warnings had to be issued.
‘‘ The streams north of Townsville could be at the greatest risk as this is where the heaviest falls are predicted to occur. We’re also experiencing f airly windy conditions. A tight pressure gradient exists be- tween the large high and the monsoon trough resulting in fresh to occasionally strong and gusty winds over land. A strong wind warning is current for local coastal waters."
Mr Torrisi said the tropical low inland of Cooktown posed no threat of development into a cyclone. However the monsoon trough is expected to remain active into the new week and will continue to be closely monitored.
BoM s enior f orecaster Gordon Banks said a second low was producing soggy conditions and flooding in western Queensland. All roads have been closed in the Diamantina Shire which takes in the towns of Birdsville and Bedourie and normally gets an average yearly rainfall of 200mm.
‘‘ It produced excessively heavy rainfall over parts of the Channel Country overnight,’’ Mr Banks said.
‘‘ The highest reading we have is . . . 313mm at Bedourie. That’s a record for Bedourie.’’
Emergency Management Queensland area director Elliott Dunn it was fortunate the water was really slow moving and Bedourie was protected by a levee bank while Birdsville was on higher ground.
‘‘ Every road in the shire is cut, all the main access roads are dirt,’’ he said.
‘‘ They’ll have enough food for probably the next month and then after that we can fly more in if we need to.’’
WEATHER WARNING: Christine Wood, 13, of Kelso, Kayla Hoban, 13, of Kirwan, and Keanii Lankford, 13, of Kirwan, didn’t let the blustery conditions spoil their fun on The Strand yesterday