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Heavy falls and cold temperatures for North Queensland

20 May 2020

Heavy winter rainfall has been recorded across North Queensland over the last 24 hours, with falls in excess of 200mm recorded for some locations.

A moist easterly onshore flow from a high in the Tasman Sea is combining with an amplifying upper trough across central Australia to generate a large cloud band (otherwise known as a northwest cloud band) across central and northern Australia.

This has led to heavy falls across the North Tropical Coast, with Bulgan Creek picking up a staggering 339mm in the last 24 hours. Tully picked up an impressive 174mm to 9am this morning, making this its wettest single May day since 1973 when it registered 192.8mm.

Other notable falls to 9am this morning include, Rankin Creek 169mm, The Boulders 181mm, Bingil Bay 152mm, South Johnstone 143mm and Cairns Airport 82mm.

This cloud band will continue to generate widespread showers, rain periods and isolated thunderstorms over the coming days, with humid onshore winds enhancing heavy showers across the Tropical North Coast.

Further moderate to locally heavy falls are expected, with some locations likely to see accumulated rainfall totals of 100-150mm over the next 48 hours. This may lead to localised flash flooding, and riverine flooding. A minor flood warning is current for the Tully River.

Under this cloud band, maximum daytime temperatures are expected to remain well below average, with some locations expected to see temperatures up to 10C below the May average, with the potential for records to be broken.

Townsville is expecting a maximum temperature of 19C on Saturday, with a May average of 27.7C. Georgetown in the Goldfields region is expecting just 18C on Saturday, with a May average of 30.4C, meanwhile Charters Towers is expected to reach only 14C on Saturday. Should this occur, it will be more than 13C below the monthly average and be a record low maximum temperature for May.

Image 1: EWN 24 hour rainfall totals to 9am 20/05/2020

Image 1: EWN generated flood map. Tully river, valid 20/05/2020


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