Eyes on monsoon trough after recent forecasts fizzle

James Nason, 19/11/2013

Some previously dusty rain gauges measured some welcome falls over the past seven days, however the general trend of rain from what was forecast to be a widespread event last week was frustratingly hit and miss from one property to the next.

Attentions are now turning to a monsoonal trough that has parked above northern Australia, triggering hopes of potentially better rain for dry northern Australia later this week.

The monsoon trough has entered the southern hemisphere for the first time this wet season. It is causing a build up of moisture that has already started to produce some storms across northern WA, the NT and northern Qld in the past 24 hours.

Heavy rain measuring 27mm fell in Darwin between sunrise and 9am this morning, with The Weather Channel forecasting widespread falls of over 50mm for the Top End of the NT and Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, and further to extent into southern Queensland and northern NSW over the next eight days.

Last week hopes for a desperately needed seasonal break were running high in the wake of promising forecasts of widespread rainfall across eastern Australia.

The heaviest falls were recorded along the Queensland and New South Wales coasts but totals tended to fall away rapidly towards the inland.

Selected totals across Queensland recorded for the week to yesterday for example included Greenvale 11mm, Charters Towers 15mm, Moranbah 38mm, Bauhinia Downs 52mm, Normanton 40mm, Capella 29mm, Clermont 50mm, Emerald 21mm, Rolleston 28mm, Taroom 32mm (Wandoan 0), Banana 121mm, Eidsvold 24mm, Biloela 64mm, Rockhampton 47mm, Moura 80mm, Childers 77mm, Thangool 85mm, Warwick 42mm, Texas 26mm, Roma 50mm, Surat 40mm, Wallumbilla 35mm, Injune 27mm, Mitchell 13mm, Drillham 61mm, Meandarra 20mm, and Goondiwindi 14mm.

While those figures alone suggest a consistently solid and much-needed soaking was received across a wide tract of central and southern Queensland’s cattle country, the reality was that totals varied wildly where rain did fall.

For example the rain gauge at the post office in Rolleston on the Central Highlands recorded 28mm, but just 10km south of town, AgForce cattle board president Howard Smith recorded almost nothing on his property Mt Panorama.

He said while some people were fortunate enough to get under some good rain, on the whole it was isolated and patchy.

“It was a bit disappointing actually, they were talking it up over the weekend there was going to be good rain,” Mr Smith said.

“Obviously some people got under some, but certainly nothing drought breaking.

“There are people around here who have virtually had nothing, their dams are dry, and they haven’t even got a green shoot on their country.

“Hopefully at the end of this week something might eventuate, but people I have been talking to are a bit disillusioned.”

He said that the forecasts of rain this week based on the monsoonal trough in the north were promising.

“As long as it is raining somewhere it starts to give everyone a bit of hope,” he said.

“If someone is getting a bit of rain it just takes some pressure off the market and everything else.”


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -