A trough stretching from the Great Australian Bight to the tropics will bring yet another soft end to the week for central and eastern Australia.
- Widespread rainfall is expected over central and eastern Australia over the coming days
- Violent storms are forecast, but they are not expected to be as extreme as in recent weeks
- With the harvest season upon us, many farmers now wish the rain would stay away
Tropical moisture is flowing down from the north and is expected to bring rain to South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, western Victoria, western New South Wales and western Queensland today.
The totals will be variable, but decreases of 15 to 25 millimeters are expected for western Victoria and NSW.
But higher totals of between 50 mm and 60 mm are possible if you are during a thunderstorm or on a north-facing aspect, according to Jackson Browne, senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology.
Storms are expected to be embedded in the system, and while they may be severe, Mr Browne says they are likely to be a “few steps down” from the supercell outbreaks we have seen over the past month.
As the system moves east, rain is forecast over the central and eastern regions of the eastern states on Thursday, with a few showers continuing on Friday.
The start of a few humid weeks
Along with the rain, all this tropical moisture is set to make things sticky for the southern states.
“The moisture coming down from the tropics is quite unusual, especially when it reaches Victoria, where we’ve got ‘damp’ plastered on quite a few different weather forecasts,” Browne said.
Most of the rain and storms are expected to disappear from the southeast by the end of the week, but the humid, tropical air mass is likely to hang on, prompting further precipitation.
Farmers are hoping for a dry harvest
Brown’s predictions are not good news for Susan Findlay Tickner, a grain grower in the Victoria’s Wimmera region, just north of Horsham.
Just over fourteen days after the harvest, she hopes the storms manage to avoid her hay.
“It’s a kind of touch and go where the rain will fall. Hopefully it doesn’t fall on our hay, which is on the ground right now,” she said.
“If it gets very wet, it will definitely degrade the quality.”
But rain could be a plus elsewhere.
“Anything that is still green will benefit from having rain on it,” Findlay Tickner said.
“A lot of lenses around the district are still pretty green. So they would benefit from rain.
Mrs. Findlay Tickner managed to avoid last week’s hail, which caused extensive damage to the crop.
But it all has not been smooth this season, as a dry month of August provided a slow start and a few moderate frost events caused some damage.
“But despite a lot of nervous anticipation over the last few weeks, we haven’t actually had the hard-hitting frost that we were quite nervous about,” she said.
Good closing rains in September and October mean that Findlay Tickner hopes to produce above-average yields this season.
Even if it dries nicely up to harvest, it would certainly be a bonus.
“We are very changeable, farmers. Either we want rain, or we want to really do not want rain. ”