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Widespread rainfall is beginning to spread across eastern Australia from today, with many parts set to see falls of 15-30mm, and some places in excess of 100mm.
A low pressure trough, which is currently lying over far western New South Wales and Queensland, is being fed by humid easterly component winds being directed over the east of the nation due to a high over the Tasman Sea.
Onshore winds have been producing showers along parts of the east coast over the past few days, and have been heavy in some areas, particularly the last day. In the 24 hours to 9am, parts of the Tropical Queensland Coast saw totals in excess of 100mm, including Tully (161mm), Bulgun Creek (257mm) and The Boulders (138mm). Many parts of the NSW and southeast QLD coasts have also seen light to moderately heavy showers, with widespread totals of 30-60mm over the Sunshine Coast over the last 24 hours and falls of 10-30mm (and locally higher totals) along the northern and central NSW coasts.
As these onshore winds have persisted, moisture has been gradually building inland with cloud thickening over the interior and rain beginning to fall over far western QLD and far west NSW today. This trough is expected to move east for the remainder of the day and into Thursday, with falls expected to become even heavier as the trough gains more moisture as it gets further east.
By Friday and Saturday, the trough will have reached northeast NSW and eastern QLD, with increasing instability also bringing the risk of thunderstorms. With moisture levels more typical of early summer than mid winter, some of these storms and showers within the trough could become heavy, although due to their convective nature the heaviest falls are likely to be isolated. Widespread falls of 15-30mm are still likely, however those under heavier showers/storms may see totals in excess of 100mm. With many parts of QLD still in drought, particularly over central parts of the state, this rain will be further good news on the back of already good winter rain in some areas.
The trough and showers/storms will be pushed off the coast from Sunday as a southwesterly blast and much drier airmass pushes over the region due to a cold front.
Image 1: Accumulated precipitation over the next 96 hours from the GFS Model (Source: Weatherwatch Metcentre)
Image 2: Synoptic setup showing the dynamics at play leading to the widespread rain event (Source: Windy.com)
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