Forecast updated at 4:44 pm EST on Sunday 9 March 2014.
A tropical low lies over the western Coral Sea and is expected to drift slowly to the south during the next 24 hours before commencing a northwards track from late Monday (most likely remaining offshore of the east tropical coast). Tropical Cyclone Gillian lies on the monsoon trough in the northern Gulf of Carpentaria and is expected to move in a general southerly direction during the next couple of days whilst intensifying further. Forecasts for the tropics and central coast of Queensland will be highly dependent on the development and movement of these systems. A firm ridge extends along the southern and central Queensland coast and is expected to weaken during Wednesday. An upper trough will move east over the southeast of the state overnight, most likely contracting off the southeast Queensland coast by Monday afternoon.
Forecast for the rest of Sunday
Rain and isolated thunderstorms about the southern tropical and central coasts and islands with possible heavy falls. Patchy rain or light showers extending further inland to the central west. Rain areas, scattered showers and thunderstorms through the northern Peninsula, with possible locally heavy falls developing about the west Peninsula coast. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms elsewhere about the northern tropics. Isolated to scattered showers about the southeast. Isolated showers and possible gusty thunderstorms in the far southwest, clearing during the evening. Strong to gale force winds about the east coast from about Cairns to St. Lawrence. Gales also through northern Gulf of Carpentaria waters. Moderate to fresh and gusty east to southeast winds elsewhere.
Monday 10 March
Forecasts are highly dependent on the development and movement of the tropical systems. Rain and isolated thunderstorms about the central coast and islands with possible heavy falls. Areas of rain and showers extending into the central interior, with possible isolated showers also extending into the central west and Maranoa. Isolated to scattered showers over the southeast, more frequent near the Wide Bay and Fraser coasts. Rain areas with thunderstorms and possible locally heavy falls about the western Peninsula and far northern Gulf Country. Isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms over the remaining tropics. Fine and mostly sunny in the southwest. Gales over eastern Gulf of Carpentaria waters and near the west Peninsula coast, increasing to storm force during the day. Gales over east coast waters between about Cairns and Cape Capricorn. Moderate to fresh and gusty east to southeast winds elsewhere, tending northwesterly in the far north.
Fire Danger - High to Very High in the Darling Downs and the Granite Belt district.
Tuesday 11 March
Forecasts continue to be highly dependent on the development and movement of the tropical systems. The high in the Tasman Sea should maintain a ridge along the southern Queensland coast. At this stage it is likely that rain areas and possible thunderstorms will continue about the central and far southern tropical coasts at least during the morning before the Coral Sea low shifts further north over the Coral Sea. Thundery rain areas with some heavy falls are also likely about the Gulf of Carpentaria coast, particularly in the south. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected over the remaining tropics, with some isolated shower activity most likely extending through the northwest of the state. Conditions will stabilise over the southeast following the passage of the upper trough with isolated showers expected. Fine and mostly sunny conditions should occur through the southern interior.
Wednesday 12 March
Forecasts continue to be highly dependent on the development and movement of the tropical systems. Heavy rain should start to focus further offshore over the Coral Sea, with scattered showers now expected about the east tropical and central coasts and adjacent inland. Scattered to widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms are expected through the remaining tropics, more frequent with rain areas and possible locally heavy falls near the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast. The high in the Tasman Sea should move to the southeast of New Zealand, resulting in the ridge along the southern Queensland coast relaxing with only isolated showers expected. Conditions should be fine and mostly sunny over the southern interior.
Thursday 13 March
Tropical Cyclone Gillian may still be active through the Gulf of Carpentaria, with forecasts about the northwest of the state, particularly near the Gulf of Carpentaria coast, highly dependent on this system. Rain areas and storms are currently expected through the far northwest. Isolated to scattered showers are likely about the east tropical and central coasts. Scattered to widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms are expected through the remaining tropics. Conditions should be mostly fine about the Capricornia and southeast of the state with just the chance of isolated showers under the weak ridge. A new trough will most likely approach the southern interior of the state, generating isolated showers and possible thunderstorms near the southwest border.
Friday until Sunday
Rain areas may continue about parts of the Gulf of Carpentaria coast and Peninsula during the outlook period, though should become less extensive depending on the movement of Tropical Cyclone Gillian. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will most likely continue about the remaining northern tropics. A weak ridge will persist along the remaining east Queensland coast with only isolated showers expected. The new trough will most likely become slow moving over the southern interior, generating some shower and storm activity over southern inland parts.
The next routine forecast will be issued at 4:30 am EST Monday.