‘Intense’ rain and storm event on way
Australia could find itself in a pincer movement of atrocious weather as the week goes on with the possibility of a tropical cyclone coming back from the dead in Queensland and a "big storm event" bringing driving rain and storms to the south east.
"It's going to be pretty intense with major thunderstorms expected, many severe," said Sky News Weather channel meteorologist Rob Sharpe on Monday.
Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart and Brisbane as well as cities in northern Queensland, could all be drenched with around 50mm - or more - of rain.
All eyes will be on the #GulfOfCarpentaria this week as ex-#CycloneOwen moves west. It will weaken as it moves across Cape York today before re-intensifying once it gets back over warm Gulf waters tomorrow. In the south, #heatwave conditions set to ease later this week. pic.twitter.com/XqgcoYgnPO— Bureau of Meteorology, Northern Territory (@BOM_NT) December 9, 2018
Ex-tropical #CycloneOwen has certainly left its mark on north Queensland! Close to 300mm of rain has fallen in some areas. Wind gusts to 90 to 100 km/hr in some spots too. The low crossed the coast near #PortDouglas about 3am. Warnings at https://t.co/g9s43VwjWg pic.twitter.com/BMAVOe2WIa— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 9, 2018
Almost 170mm of rain poured down on Cairns on Sunday, and almost 300mm in Port Douglas, as ex-tropical cyclone Owen passed over. But if you thought Owen would now just quietly head into a corner to live out its dying days, think again - it could be about to stir into life once more.
While these types of systems generally weaken over land - deprived of moisture, the fuel they need - Owen's track is taking it towards the Gulf of Carpentaria.
That could crank it back into life again in an occurrence which is sometimes colloquially known as a "zombie cyclone". Undead Owen will then likely turn around and head back revisiting the very towns it passed over last week.
"The system is not giving up anytime soon. It could intensify and it could easily become a tropical cyclone as it swings back into Queensland with a more rain to come," said Mr Sharpe.
"There's a fair bit of uncertainty as to when and how quickly it will deepen but pretty much all models have it tracking back down through Queensland taking tropical moisture with it and potentially gusty winds as well."
Towards the end of the week rain and storms are predicted along the entire Queensland coast and many inland areas.
Brisbane could see 45mm of rain over three days beginning with a stormy Friday. It will likely be muggy too with highs touching 30C most days.
Head up to Townsville and storms are possible every day this week with showers dumping as much as 60mm or more on the city. It's much the same story in Mackay, Cairns, Charters Towers and everywhere in between.
RAIN EVENT FOR SOUTH EAST
Moving into New South Wales, showers can be expected in Sydney most days this week worsening as we head towards the weekend. Maximums of around 24C on Tuesday and Wednesday reaching up to 28C as the weekend approaches.
Heading further south, it just keeps getting grimmer, said Mr Sharpe.
"From Wednesday an upper level cold pool will sweep up across south east Australia and with that low pressure system forming there will be heavy rain, thunderstorms and gusty winds.
"There will be a big rain and storm event in the south east."
In Canberra, possible storms on Thursday will be followed by up to 55mm of rain falling in the run up to Saturday. Highs of around 27-28C.
Moving down to Melbourne, it's going to get hot on Wednesday with a high of 34C. Most other days will be around the mid-twenties.
Up to 30mm of rain could fall on Thursday with showers for the next four days adding up to 60mm of moisture in total.
Hobart could become waterlogged under 55mm of rain falling from midweek onwards. Wednesday will be the hottest day with the mercury reaching 28C.
Adelaide may not get quite so wet but you'd be advised to pack an umbrella from Wednesday onwards with the heaviest rain falling on Friday. Tuesday will be hot at 35C but it will get sharply cooler on Wednesday with a peak of just 20C.
PARCHED IN PERTH
Forecasters have said the low pressure system was likely to "linger" over the south east filling up the rain gauge but becoming less intense on the weekend.
There's still some uncertainty in the forecast models, Mr Sharpe said, which may mean rainfall totals and exact locations of the downpours vary. But this should firm up as we approach midweek.
Perth, on the other hand, is parched. A sunny week with highs reaching into the low thirties on many days and peaking at 36C on Friday. Darwin will get to 35C and storms are possibility from midweek onwards.