STAYING DRY: Marc Dyball keeping dry with a large umbrella.
STAYING DRY: Marc Dyball keeping dry with a large umbrella. Mike Richards GLA070119WTHR

WEATHER: Wet start to back-to-work week

THE HEAVENS opened as most of Gladstone returned to work yesterday.

At 1pm yesterday, the Gladstone airport rain gauge recorded 11mm since 9am.

The radar site recorded 4mm, while 1mm of rain was recorded at Calliope.

East-southeasterly wind gusts between 37-41km/h were also recorded at the airport.

Meteorologist Gordon Banks told The Observer on Sunday the rain was forecast to have increased yesterday.

"This is in a way in response to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny moving a little bit closer to the coast and just getting a bit of a squeeze in the pressure gradient with the reach to the south,” Mr Banks said.

"As that low gets closer, we will see again an increase in showers along the coast mostly to the north of Saint Lawrence, but there will be an increase around Gladstone and Rockhampton as well.”

The latest BoM forecast is for showers of up to 6mm with 20-25km/h southeasterly winds.

There will be a temporary reprieve between tomorrow and Saturday, with showers clearing and maximum temperatures in the low 30s.

The rainfall is caused by the effects of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny.

"(The system) is situated over the Coral Sea, well off the Queensland coast, and is expected to move slowly westwards towards the Queensland coast,” the Bureau said.

"There is some uncertainty associated with its movement in the longer term.”

The system is predicted to cross the coast between Innisfail and Cardwell.

"Penny is set to move onto the Queensland east coast during late Wednesday or early Thursday, but the scenario of it crossing earlier than this cannot be ruled out, particularly if it maintains its current motion towards the southwest,” the Bureau said.

"The system may be close enough to the central or Burdekin coasts to produce strong to damaging winds, and more widespread rainfall with some heavy falls about parts of the central and east tropical coasts.”

Penny remains a moderate chance of reforming in to a cyclone.