Forecast issued at 4:30 pm EST on Monday 20 February 2017.
Tropical Cyclone Alfred lies over the southwestern Gulf of Carpentaria. It is expected to continue tracking in a general southwards direction towards the Northern Territory this afternoon, and to move onto the Northern Territory coast tomorrow afternoon before weakening. There is some uncertainty associated with the development and movement of this tropical cyclone. A surface trough extends from the Gulf Country to about Fraser Island and will gradually shift westwards over the interior of the state from Tuesday. An upper level trough should enter western Queensland on Tuesday before shifting slowly east over the state mid to late week. A high in the Tasman Sea will extend a ridge gradually northwards along the east Queensland coast over the next few days. A trough over the Coral Sea will most likely shift west northwest towards the east Queensland coast mid to late week.
Forecast for the rest of Monday
A high to very high chance of rain areas and storms about the Gulf of Carpentaria coast into the Gulf Country with some heavy falls likely, particularly near the coast west of about Normanton. The medium chance of showers and storms about the Townsville and Mackay coasts and nearby inland. A high to very high chance of showers, patchy rain and storms over remaining northern districts, with some locally heavy falls possible with storms. The slight chance of a shower about the remaining east coast north of about Hervey Bay. Fine and clear through western districts. Moderate to fresh northwest to northeast winds about the Gulf coast and over the Peninsula, with gales possibly developing late tonight about the far northwest near the Northern Territory border. Mostly moderate to fresh southwest to southeasterly winds elsewhere.
Tuesday 21 February
A high to very high chance of patchy rain, showers and storms extending over areas north of about Century Mine to Townsville with some heavy falls likely with storms. Rain areas will be further enhanced in the western Gulf Country closer to the Gulf system. The slight to medium chance of showers and storms will extend to remaining areas north of about Mount Isa to Longreach to Mackay due to the upper trough and a westward moving surface trough. An onshore wind flow will result in the slight to medium chance of showers over the remaining east coast, mostly north of about Fraser Island. Fine and mostly sunny through remaining central and southern parts. Moderate to fresh east to northeast winds about the Gulf coast and over the Peninsula, with gales possible about the far northwest near the Northern Territory border. Mostly moderate to fresh east to southeasterly winds elsewhere.
Wednesday 22 February
The Gulf system is most likely to be located over land in the Northern Territory but there is some uncertainty with its location at this stage. The upper trough over the west of the state will shift slowly east, resulting in a high to very high chance of showers, patchy rain and storms extending from the Peninsula into the northern interior and Gulf Country with some locally heavy falls likely with storms. A medium to high chance of showers and possible storms will extend over the east tropical coast, more likely over the Townsville coast under the upper trough axis. A trough over the Coral Sea will shift westwards, possibly increasing the chance of showers about the central and Wide Bay coasts with possible storms. An inland surface trough will shift further west, resulting in the slight to medium chance of showers and storms spreading through the central and southern interior north of about Charleville.
Thursday 23 February
The upper trough will shift a bit further east whilst the trough over the Coral Sea will shift further west northwest. This will result in the high to very high chance of showers and storms extending from the north of the state to the central coast, with some locally heavy falls possible with storms north of about Bowen to Mount Isa. The slight to medium chance of showers and storms will extend into the central interior, with the slight chance over the southern interior near the inland surface trough. The southeastern corner of the state should be mostly fine with just the slight chance of a shower, more likely about Fraser Island and the northern Wide Bay.
Friday 24 February
The upper trough shifts further northwards while weakening , maintaining a high to very high chance of showers and storms to areas north of about Townsville to Century Mine. The high to very high chance of showers and possible storms over remaining northern parts, with the slight chance of a shower or storm for much of the central and southern interior. Fine in parts of the southeastern interior, with the slight to moderate chance of a shower about the east coast, with the chance of a shower or storm about the coast north of about Mackay.
Saturday until Monday
Instability and the majority of storm activity should gradually contract northwards over the northern districts through the outlook period. A high in the Tasman Sea will maintain a ridge along the east Queensland coast with some showers persisting about the east coast in an onshore wind flow, most likely north of Fraser Island. A trough over the Coral Sea may move westwards towards the southern coast over the weekend, gradually increasing the chance of showers. The surface trough over the western interior of the state will likely shift slowly east over the weekend, with a medium chance of showers and storms near and to the east of this feature. Fine and mostly sunny conditions should spread to the southwest of the state over the weekend.
The next routine forecast will be issued at 4:30 am EST Tuesday.