A “major rain event” is brewing for Australia’s east coast between Christmas and New Year bringing downpours to already sodden regions as moisture across the continent’s north is funnelled cross-country.
That could mean continued rain for Queensland, fresh deluges for New South Wales and storms for Victoria. While in the west, it’s going to remain achingly hot with clear blue skies and days in the mid-30s.
But that’s to come – for Christmas Day, weather wise it’s looking dry and cool in the south; showery for Sydney and tropically torrential in northern Queensland and the Top End.
Sky News Weather senior meteorologist Tom Saunders said parts of Queensland were set to get an absolute “drenching” over the festive period.
“Christmas Day will be very wet throughout central Queensland with heavy falls around Mackay and inland with flash flooding likely as well as localised river flooding.
“The heaviest rain will move just north of Mackay on Boxing Day and then over the weekend heavy falls will continue through the northern tropics even into the early part of next week.”
Around 50-100mm is likely across northern and central Queensland; some of that rain could fall in just 24 hours in a few places. Further south, a wet Christmas is still to be expected, with heavy rain in Rockhampton for instance.
However, Brisbane should remain dry with a high of 29C which will set the tone for the rest of the week but rain is forecast heading into New Year.
Across the Top End, the monsoon has dissipated a touch so the gauge isn’t as full. Darwin can expect storms and about 10-15mm each day over Christmas week. It’s a similar situation in the far north of Western Australia.
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‘MAJOR RAIN EVENT” A POSSIBILITY
Northern Australia has seen plenty of rain in the last week or so. It all has to go somewhere and where it’s going is to the south and east.
“The heavy rain is drifting potentially across New South Wales around the middle of the week so we could be looking at another major rain event for that area,” said Mr Saunders.
Up to 50mm could fall over several days in the state’s coast delivering a soggy holiday for those leaving Sydney for Christmas, and those staying in town too. The coming days should give us more insight as to whether the rain event will eventuate and to what extent.
For Christmas Day itself, Sydney will see some showers, most likely in the morning. The city is forecast to top out at 22C.
There might be some storms later in the day for the north coast and Ranges.
Boxing Day will see the mercury rise to 25C and then a warm 29C on Saturday. Rain will begin to make an appearance from Monday onwards; it could be a wet New Year’s Eve in the Harbour City.
A cloudy Christmas topping out at 22C in Canberra. Like Sydney, it will gradually warm up over the coming days reaching 32C on Saturday. Also, like Sydney, the moisture could come calling again during next week.
COOL IN MELBOURNE WITH WARM SPIKE
It will be mostly dry in the south but some fresh early mornings.
Melbourne will sink to just 11C early on Christmas morning and will struggle to even get to 20C on the big day. Boxing Day should be a perfectly respectable 27C for the first day of the test rising to 31C on Sunday with a few showers passing through.
“On the 27th, a cold front could lead to gusty showers and storms over southeast Australia,” warned Mr Saunders.
“Victoria could have damaging wind gusts from those storms”.
Indeed, by Monday, the temperatures in Melbourne will be back down to maximums of just 19C with cold nights.
Topping out at 19C in Hobart on Christmas Day. A white Christmas is still a possibility on the peak of Kunanyi/Mount Wellington first thing on Thursday.
It will then shoot up into the mid-20s for a sunny Boxing Day. There could be showers on Sunday and temperatures will fall once again as we head into next week.
WARM IN ADELAIDE, BAKING IN PERTH
A warm Christmas in Adelaide in the high 20s and maybe even the mid-30s on Boxing Day with no rain. Temperatures will likely dip a touch going into next week.
Finally, blistering Perth will remain, well, blistering. A high of 37C on Christmas Day and then hovering around the mid-30s all the way into New Year. A non-stop run of piping hot days will be perfect for the barbie and a cold glass of bubbles – surely the classic Aussie Christmas.