Moderately useful, but extremely patchy rainfall is being reported this morning by landholders in ex-Tropical Cyclone Dylan’s path, after the much-anticipated low pressure system crossed the North Queensland coast early this morning.
It appears the system is delivering some solid falls directly in its path, but producers to either side of its trajectory have largely missed out.
Any suggestion that large parts of Northern, Central or Western Queensland might receive drought-breaking rain currently appears well wide of the mark. Certainly it appears that the heavier falls needed to deliver much-needed runoff to put some stock water back into dams has not eventuated, at least by the time Beef Central’s daily alert was distributed.
Judy Camm, who with husband David operates Natal Downs and Longton stations between Charters Towers and Clermont, told Beef Central a few minutes ago that they had received just 8mm so far, and winds had reached only a moderate level.
“It’s very disappointing,” she said. “We’d hoped to pick up some solid rain by now, but so far it’s been very limited,” she said.
Natal’s only rain this year was a fall of about 35mm a month ago, and the property is desperately dry, with poly being laid to provide stock water as an increasing number of dams go dry.
Some gauges closer to Charters Towers have picked up a little more, with Burdekin Dam receiving 53mm for the week ended 9am this morning, and the town of Charters Towers, 72mm.
Further south at Emerald, Elders livestock manager Gavin Colwell said early reports across the Central Highlands and further west were very patchy, at best.
“The best we’ve heard of so far is around 80mm around Moranbah, and there was 75mm at John Finger’s property, Meadowbrook, near Dysart, which is just starting to produce some runoff. But most of the falls so far have been much less than that,” Mr Colwell said.
Emerald itself had received around 25mm overnight in a series of light showers, and another 15mm this morning, but the eye of the system was still northeast of Emerald, so there was some prospect of further moisture.
“There’s been a lot of wind, but not heavy rain so far,” he said.
Not far away, Mt Coolon, to the north of Emerald has mostly missed out, while Collinsville, west of Bowen, had had fair rain in the past 12 hours.
“If we can get another 40-50mm before the system passes, it would be a godsend,” Mr Colwell said.
Further west, Barcaldine has only received 3mm so far, but it may take some hours before the system moves far enough west to exert an influence.
By 9am this morning, some of the best Highlands region seven-day recordings included Alpha 28mm, Capella 64mm, Clermont 68mm, Comet 22mm and Rolleston 16mm. Nearby centres like Dingo and Duaringa have missed out.
Around Marlborough on the coast between Mackay and Rockhampton, there have been some helpful falls, with Alan and Penny Wallace reporting 40mm at Cleeves.
Having crossed the coast, Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dylan has now weakened into a tropical low, and the Bureau of Meteorology said the system was moving further inland and continuing to weaken.