Flood warning for Dawson River as west Qld braces for rain

11.40am: A FLOOD warning has been issued for the Dawson River as Western Queenslanders await for a rain trough in the north to head their way.

The advise from the Bureau of Meteorology this morning is that moderate flood levels are being recorded at Baralaba during Saturday morning.

Minor to moderate flooding is occurring along the Dawson River downstream of Theodore to Beckers.

No observations are currently available from the Dawson River at Moura station. Based on upstream river levels, the Dawson River at Moura is expected to be above the minor flood level (6.0 metres) The Dawson River at Moura is likely to fall below the minor flood level (6.00 m) late Saturday evening.

No observations are currently available from the Dawson River at Baralaba station. Based on upstream river levels, the Dawson River at Baralaba is expected to be above the moderate flood level (7.50 metres) A moderate peak is expected in the Dawson River at Baralaba during Saturday.

A deep low pressure system over the northwestern interior will most likely shift very slowly south towards the far northern Channel Country district today and remain slow moving on Sunday.

Areas of heavy rain and damaging to possibly locally destructive wind gusts are expected to accompany the low passage over the northwestern interior.

Note that there remains some uncertainty in the strength and movement of the low and the resulting heavy rain focus.

A cloud band with rain areas and storms will extend from the low into the Central West and northern and eastern Channel Country today and further east through the southern interior and southeast of the state during Sunday and Monday, with moderate to possible locally heavy falls expected.

Very unstable conditions will extend through the Maranoa and Warrego and Darling Downs and Granite Belt districts today, resulting in the chance of severe storms.

Showers and storms will persist over the northern tropics through the outlook period, with storms particularly over inland parts and near the Gulf of Carpentaria coast. A ridge of high pressure will result in mostly fine conditions about the central coast during the next few days.

 

5am: The Bureau of Meteorology yesterday issued a heavy rainfall, flooding and damaging winds forecast for Queensland's Central and North West.

A low pressure system lies over the northern interior of Queensland near Cloncurry.

This system is expected to shift slowly west further into the North West district.

There is some uncertainty associated with the movement of the low later on Saturday though at this stage it is expected to drift slowly southwards towards the Central West district.

Areas including Longreach and Mt Isa have been put on alert as 24-hour rainfall in the 75mm to 150mm range is forecast, with isolated falls of up to 300mm possible with thunderstorms.

Senior Meteorologist Rick Threlfall said heavy rainfall and flooding with locally damaging winds are the main impacts.

 

An infra-red satellite image from The Bureau of Meteorology.
An infra-red satellite image from The Bureau of Meteorology.

"While rainfall may be welcome in parts of inland Queensland there is still uncertainty regarding the track of the low pressure system and where the heaviest falls will be," he said.

Areas of heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, are expected to accompany the low.

Locally damaging winds may also occur near the low.

Earlier this week, western parts of Central Queensland received heavy falls, with flood warnings issued for the Dawson River.

While moderate flood levels at Baralaba were possible yesterday evening, no significant rainfall has been recorded since Thursday morning.

On Friday morning, the Dawson River at Taroom was 4.16m and steady.

Minor flooding was also occurring along the Dawson River downstream of Theodore to Beckers.

No observations were from the Dawson River at Moura station, but based on upstream river levels, the Dawson River at Moura was expected to be above the minor flood level (6.0m) and fall on Saturday evening.