Record breaking half metre of rainfall in NT
FROM tinder dry to sodden. The Northern Territory was so deluged on the weekend as a record-breaking 500mm of rain fell in parts.
Tropical Cyclone Claudia, which has now strengthened to a category three storm, is dumping huge amounts of moisture on Northern Australia. And some of that will likely find its way towards bushfire-ravaged areas of the nation's south with storms and showers for many major cities, particularly towards the end of the week
Potentially as much as 50-100mm of rain could fall in some areas of the Queensland and NSW coasts and far into inland areas during the next week.
It will provide some relief, but the amount that hits New South Wales will be nothing like the 500mm that fell close to Darwin. And forecasters have warned that the country needs sustained rain rather than a downpour here and there.
In the 24 hours to 9am on Saturday 562mm of rain fell on Dum In Mirrie Island, which lies about 50km as the crow flies south west of Darwin.
The previous record for the Territory was 544mm of rain that fell in the Roper Valley, a mine site 450km south east of Darwin in 1963.
Dum in Mirrie Island was directly under the path of Tropical Cyclone Claudia as it careered through the Top End.
Darwin itself recorded far less rain than areas nearby, with just under 70mm filling the gauge on the weekend. Nevertheless, that was the highest single dumping of rain in at least a year on the NT capital.
"There has been a notable change to weather patterns across the country over the last week or so with an increase in rain due to monsoon onset one of the key changes," said Sky News Weather channel Meteorologist Alison Osborne on Monday.
The monsoon was several weeks late reaching Australia and a critical factor in the tinder-dry conditions that helped the bushfires take hold.
But in the last fortnight two cyclones have crossed into Australian waters and a third is brewing to the east of Queensland.
Tropical Cyclone Claudia is growing in size but its track is likely to take it far out into the Indian Ocean limiting its effect on coastal communities.
Darwin will fall back into a more regular pattern of afternoon storms dropping a few millimetres of rain and highs of about 33C.
Some of Claudia's moisture should fuel a wet week for the country's north and east.
"We can see a low pressure trough sitting in the interior of New South Wales, while a high pressure system over New Zealand is drawing more humid air across the east and toward eastern inland areas over the next few days," Ms Osborne said.
RAIN FOR MOST CAPITALS
Thick bands of rain are creeping down both the west and east of the country, leaving only South Australia and the southern Northern Territory lacking in any noticeable moisture.
In the east, potentially as much as 50-100mm of rain could fall in some areas of the Queensland and NSW coasts and far into inland areas during the next week.
"It's only light but rain is desperately needed and it will help to clear some smoke and ease fire dangers," she said.
Brisbane will be soggy from Tuesday onwards with highs nudging 30C and some heavy showers. Cairns, in the tropics, is looking at about 50mm of rain this week.
The weather has settled in Sydney for the next few days with highs in the late 20Cs. But from Thursday onwards, storms might be seen above the Harbour City with 5-10mm falling each day.
If this @BOM_NSW rainfall forecast comes to fruition then this will be all of our Christmas, birthday, engagement, anniversary, wedding and graduation presents rolled into one. Fingers crossed. #NSWRFS #nswfires pic.twitter.com/R9VfD0bqu2— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) January 12, 2020
Smoke haze in a warm Canberra on Tuesday where the mercury is forecast to reach 34C. Showers on Wednesday could clear the smoke with heavy downpours and a possible storm on Wednesday setting the tone for the rest of the week.
Drier in Melbourne with a sunny but smoky Monday and Tuesday with highs about 30C. Reaching 31C on a humid and possibly stormy Wednesday. Then the temperatures should fall into the low 20Cs, even the teens, as the week goes on with rain here and there.
Hobart will be warm, in the mid to late 20Cs until Thursday when there could be a 10C temperature drop accompanied by splashes of rain.
Bone dry all week in Adelaide. Temperatures reaching 34C on Monday and Tuesday, then settling between 26-29C for the rest of a sunny week.
A hot week for Perth, the highs not dipping below 33C. While the monsoon could bring rain to the north of WA, with storms for Broome and Karratha, little of that will reach the south.