UPDATED 2nd March 2018. Large parts of Western Queensland need to prepare for a potential Major Record Flood which is forecast to impact the area during the next 4 days. It could rival anything during the past 44 years (since the 1974 flood), it may also be so significant that nothing has ever been experienced like it in this state. Widespread rainfall totals of 100 to 200mm are likely with up to 400mm possible! Above image via BOM – rainfall forecast next 8 days. Click here to subscribe to HSC for detailed rainfall and storm forecasts across QLD!

A Low pressure system is located between Mt Isa and Cloncurry on Friday which is near stationary. Daily Heavy Rainfall is forecast with 24 hour totals of 100 to 200mm likely and up to 300mm possible will accompany the low as it turns SOUTH EAST later on Friday and into the weekend. Areas forecast to be impacted on Friday are the Northern Goldfields, Gulf and North West districts. 

The low is then forecast to intensify and turn SOUTH EAST on Saturday and Sunday travelling past Winton before becoming very slow moving near Longreach on Monday. The following areas are at risk of record breaking rainfall over between 200 and 300mm with possibly up to 400mm – the North West, Northern Channel Country and Central West districts. Heaviest falls will depend on the exact movements of the low. These rainfall forecast figures should they eventuate will produce MAJOR flooding and potentially HISTORIC flooding through Western QLD. Below image 5 day rainfall forecast via ECMWF at Weatherdotus.

 

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Mt Isa’s highest ever daily rainfall total is 213mm in 2004 and monthly is 539mm in 2009. Boulia’s highest ever daily rainfall total is 209mm in 1834 and monthly is 464mm in 1974. These rainfall records at both locations may be broken from this system though UPDATED FRIDAY the heaviest falls are expected to remain JUST east of both locations. Longreach’s highest ever daily rainfall total is 201mm in 1936 and the monthly is 420mm in 1974. Winton’s highest ever daily rainfall total is 196mm in 1976 and the monthly is 562mm in 1974. 

We are urging people to take action NOW to protect property and livestock against heavy rain and flooding. Locations are likely to be isolated for up to 1 or 2 weeks. Logistics transport, public and tourism travel are also likely to be disrupted for an extended period. Stay safe everyone and stay tuned to the latest forecasts, updates and warnings.

This forecast has been updated on the 2nd of March 2018 using multi model ensemble data for the highest current accuracy available. The amounts of rain forecast may vary depending on the EXACT track and intensity of the low. Further HSC forecasts will be issued when required.