Forecast issued at 4:30 am EST on Sunday 7 February 2016.
A slow moving high pressure system over the western Tasman Sea will maintain a firm ridge over southern Queensland waters into mid next week. A surface trough lies just offshore of the central coast and will move northwards, reaching Cooktown waters by Tuesday. Thunderstorm activity over central and northern districts will gradually shift northwards with this trough. An upper trough lies over western Queensland and is expected to slowly weaken during the next few days. A broad area of low pressure will develop through the Coral Sea during next week.
Forecast for the rest of Sunday
Showers and thunderstorms over the eastern tropics into the tropical interior and central districts north of about Moranbah to Mackay. Heavy falls are likely with thunderstorms. Cloudy with showers and rain areas through remaining central districts into the Capricornia and northern Wide Bay. Patchy rain extending from the central interior into the southeast, decreasing by the afternoon. Morning storms on the central coast near and south of Mackay, mostly to sea. A slight to medium chance of showers elsewhere, with possible storms over the Peninsula and into the central west and southwest of the state. Light to moderate southwest to northwesterly winds over the northern half of the state, moderate to fresh east to southeasterly winds in the south.
Monday 8 February
The coastal trough will continue to move northwards, reaching Cairns waters by evening. A medium to high chance of showers and storms will occur over areas north of about Richmond to Bowen. Heavy falls will likely occur with thunderstorms, particularly through the tropical interior and about the east coast between Cooktown and Bowen. Cloudy conditions will extend through central districts north of Rockhampton with showers and drizzle areas expected. The slight to medium chance of showers is expected about the southern coast and also through the central west and northwest of the state where some storms are also possible. Fine and mostly sunny conditions will extend through the southeastern and far southern interior.
Tuesday 9 February
The coastal trough will move further northwards, reaching Cooktown waters by evening. A medium to high chance of showers and storms is expected over the tropical interior and about the east coast between Coen and Tully. Locally heavy falls will likely occur with thunderstorms. A slight to medium chance of showers and storms will extend through the remaining northern tropics into the northwest of the state. Mostly fine conditions will extend through central and southern Queensland with just the slight to medium chance of showers. Showers over the southern tropics will decrease during the day.
Wednesday 10 February
The coastal trough will most likely shift further northwards towards Lockhart River. A medium to high chance of showers and storms will extend over the Peninsula and Gulf Country districts with locally heavy falls likely with thunderstorms. A medium to high chance of showers will extend into the remaining northeastern tropics in an onshore wind flow, more likely with possible storms north of Cape Tribulation. A slight to medium chance of showers will extend along the remaining east coast. The interior should be fine apart from the chance of a shower or storm in the northwest. The monsoon will likely become more active through the Coral Sea.
Thursday until Saturday
The weak coastal trough will most likely remain slow moving over Peninsula waters while the monsoon should remain active in the Coral Sea. Low pressure systems may develop in the Coral Sea but at this stage are expected to remain well offshore of the east Queensland coast. The situation will be monitored carefully. Showers and storms will persist over the very far northern tropics near the weak trough. A surface trough may generate some showers and possible storm over the southeastern inland on Friday. The remainder of the state should be mostly fine under the influence of a ridge of high pressure, with just the slight to medium chance of showers near the east coast.
The next routine forecast will be issued at 4:30 pm EST Sunday.