Sweaty days then rain as 'possible cyclone developing'

IT'S going to be a hot, sticky and wet start to the year.

Over the next eight days up to 100mm of rain is predicted to fall across the south-east corner as an upper low moves south from the northern part of the state.

The rain will follow scorching temperatures in Ipswich on New Year's Eve when the mercury is set to soar to 37 degrees.

Not only will it be hot, but the humidity is expected to be up around 80-90% before the rain begins on Monday.

Higgins Storm Chasing is warning of a possible cyclone developing in the northern part of the state, while the Bureau of Meteorology says heavy falls in Queensland's centre are likely to continue.

The storm chasers say a tropical low is likely to develop in the Gulf Country - which could become a cyclone - along with another possible low along the North and Central Coasts.

The BoM says an low pressure system over the Coral Sea will move south west over the next couple of days, most likely bringing increased shower and storm activity to the eastern and southern parts of Queensland.

There are no official cyclone warnings.

According to Higgins rainfall of 50mm to 150mm is possible across the northern inland, central inland and south east regions over the next week.

That's based on the BoM's rainfall maps and speculation that if the low trough moves further south west next week, it will bring increased rain to southern areas.

For Ipswich, where the average January temperature is 31.1 degrees, there's no denying it's going to be a hot start to the year, however, the 37 degrees predicted for December 31, followed by 36 on January 1, is far from the worst the city has seen.

On January 6, 1994 Ipswich sweated through its hottest January day on record when temperatures soared to 44.3 degrees.

Exactly 20-years earlier the city endured the highest rainfall totals on record when 635.2mm fell across the region as cyclone Wanda lashed the coast.

The system left $200 million worth of damage in Brisbane during the 1974 floods; in Ipswich 40 houses washed away and 1800 were severely damaged.

Cyclone season is from November to April and the BoM has warned there is likely to be increased cyclone activity this summer compared to last year, due to warmer ocean conditions surrounding northern areas.

On average 11 tropical cyclones develop in the Australian region; about four of those cross the coast.

For the south east, flooding is the major impact. 

SEQ Water has no plans to release water from the region's biggest dams, however, the major dams Somerset, Wivenhoe and North Pine are not at capacity. 

The SEQ website states at both Wivenhoe and Somerset 100% of flood storage is available

  • Wivenhoe Dam: 73%
  • Somerset Dam: 76.8%
  • North Pine Dam: 57%


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