Severe weather warning for Whitsundays
IF you think it’s wet now, the forecast for the next couple of days is not looking any better.
A severe weather warning has been issued this morning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding later this evening and continue into Thursday.
The warning area extends from Proserpine covering the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach, Bowen and north to Ayr.
The rain is set to continue until Friday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
“Currently, there’s a trough stretching from the Whitsundays to Townsville, which is continuing to produce fairly widespread showers,” BOM meteorologist Shane Kennedy said.
In the past 24-hours, from 9am Tuesday to 9am Wednesday, Jubilee Pocket has recorded the highest rainfall for the area, with 124mm recorded.
Hamilton Island had 102mm of rainfall in the same period and Preston had 111mm.
Proserpine faired not too badly, with 48mm, and Whitsunday Coast Airport only got 10mm.
“The rain is very coastal,” Mr Kennedy said.
Looking forward, he said there was a ‘very high’ chance of showers and thunderstorms.
“There’s a flood watch current from Cape York Peninsula to Mackay, with an active monsoon combining with the trough in the Townsville-Whitsundays area,” he said.
“It is looking to continue through Wednesday and Thursday and there’s a risk of heavy rainfall and damaging wind gusts.”
From 9am Wednesday to 9am Thursday, Hamilton Island was likely to see 50mm to 100mm of rainfall, and Jubilee Pocket was likely to see 50mm to 80mm, with a ‘reasonable chance’ of more than 100mm.
Proserpine is estimated to receive 30mm to 60mm – possibly up to 80mm – today and tonight.
There will be a ‘slight easing’ on Thursday but Hamilton Island will still receive 30mm to 60mm on Thursday.
By Friday, rainfall is predicted to be down to 5mm to 20mm for Hamilton Island and even less for Proserpine, which should receive 10mm or less.
However, there are strong wind warnings current, from late Thursday and into Friday, due to the tropical low, currently in the Cooktown area, being expected to track southeast over the Coral Sea.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service advises that people in the warning area this morning should:
Move your car undercover and away from trees
Secure loose outdoor items
Seek shelter preferably indoors and never under trees
Beware fallen trees and powerlines
Never drive, walk or ride through flood waters
Keep clear of creeks and storm drains.
For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.