It’s surely music to sore ears. Finally a large rain event is developing through much of the centre of drought-afflicted areas of NSW and Queensland, with up to 40mm predicted in cropping and farming areas from the Queensland to the Victorian border.
Even the weather forecast for Dubbo on Wednesday is hard to believe after months and months of cloudless skies: “heavy falls possible”.
The rain event comes as much of the state is in drought or on the verge of drought, with many centres suffering five month rain deficits and many with 14 months rain deficits. Some have described the situation as the worst since the terrible drought of 1982.
Weatherzone said a trough system would form over NSW from Tuesday with the first falls in the far north-west at Tibooburra and White Cliffs of about 20mm, with 5mm in the Cobar district.
On Wednesday the trough system will deepen over central NSW, with Dubbo expected to get at least 30mm, according to Weatherzone forecaster Kim Westcott.
“It will be one of those rainy days where it doesn’t seem to stop,” she said.
“There will be rain right up to the Queensland border and even further north to Emerald, where it could be quite heavy.
“It’s a combination of two systems, basically a trough system with an upper level feature. As it moves across from the west it is deepening. By Wednesday the trough deepens and 40mm is possible in many parts of the central-west and central NSW. By Thursday it will move south to south-east NSW and the south-west slopes with 20-30mm expected in places such as Young, Cootamundra and Wagga.
“Wednesday will be rain with showers, and there could be a few thunderstorms in the system as well.”
Ms Westcott said those that might miss out on rain in northern NSW may get rain with a system expected to develop early next week. “That system will be more northern focused,” she said.
The release from Weatherzone at 1pm today said: “A somewhat unseasonal trough will form over Australia's eastern interior during the coming days, producing rain for some areas suffering from severe rainfall deficiencies. On Monday, a trough looks to form over western parts of Queensland, and will deepen on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be fed by moisture from the tropics as well as the Coral and Tasman Seas, and by Thursday some areas could have the best rain they've seen in months.
“For Queensland, the heaviest falls on and west of the ranges look to be over the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and parts of Maranoa and Warrego. There is also a chance some far southwestern parts could get some good falls. By Thursday evening, some places could have collected 20-30mm of rain. A thunderstorm or two might be generated, which could enhance rainfall, however its more likely to the east of the ranges.
“Roma, for instance, could collect 15-30mm from the trough. The gauge in Roma has only recorded 4mm since the last good rain in early March of this year.
“South of the border in New South Wales, parts of the Upper and Lower Western, North West and Central West Slopes and Plains, and Central Tablelands could also see similar falls accumulate by late Thursday. A few thunderstorms may trigger some isolated heavier falls west of the ranges. Places like Nyngan, which had their last decent rainfall in January, will be hoping the forecast 15-30mm comes to fruition.
“Although the trough will unlikely cure the rainfall deficiencies, it is still welcome in a time of extended dryness for our farmers.”