Further deluge in store as monsoon moves in


UP TO 120mm of rain is expected to fall over Townsville today as a slow-moving monsoon trough moves south.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Mark Trenorden said the trough extended across North Queensland and would continue to drench the region following the wet Australia Day long weekend.

"(Today), Wednesday and Thursday will be pretty wet," he said.

"The monsoon trough will likely move north again in the week so your weather will ease back a bit."

Mr Trenorden said the heaviest showers fell to the north and south of Townsville.

He said 215mm of rain was recorded on Hamilton Island in the 24 hours leading up to 9am yesterday (Monday) while 160mm fell over Paluma and between 50-60mm hit Townsville.

A further 36mm fell in Paluma between 9am to 5pm while Aplin Weir got 24mm and Castle Hill got 21mm.

Saunders Creek and Vincent received 66mm, Garbutt 63mm, Alligator Creek 61mm.

In the Burdekin, Rita Island has received 69mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am, 64mm for Ayr and 61mm for Groper Creek.

Mr Trenorden said cloud cover would keep temperatures cool in Townsville over the next few days.

However, the UV index is forecast to reach an extreme level of 17 so it is still advised you cover up when outdoors.

"Temperatures should be a little below average under that cloud," Mr Trenorden said.

"It will get up to 28C (today), 29C Wednesday and 30C on Thursday.

"The average (maximum temperature) for January is 31C."

Temperatures will also be kept cool in Ayr and Ingham, with more rain expected in those regions over the next few days.

The bureau expected temperatures in Ayr would get up to 27C today, increasing to a maximum of 29C by the weekend.

While in the north temperatures in Ingham are only expected to reach a top of 30 on Thursday, with possible storms forecast.

Sky News meteorologist Rob Sharpe said heavy rain up and down the Queensland tropics will last all week in what experts are branding a 'significant rain event'.

"The focus over the next couple of days will shift a little bit further south, from about Tully and Ingham and down as south as Mackay we could see some substantial rainfall," Mr Sharpe said.

"By the time we get to the middle of the week, the system looks like it's going to be shifting back north again with the focus over the North Queensland tropics.

"So by the time we get to the weekend the focus will be the tropical north coast with the system deepening, and there is a slight chance it will turn into a tropical cyclone but there's a lot of model uncertainty about that."

More heavy rain is expected for the catchments in the bureau's flood watch area south of Halifax to Proserpine.

Some river levels have risen after more than 100mm of rain was recorded in the catchments in the past 24 hours.

The heaviest rainfall is expected between south of Halifax and the Whitsundays and adjacent inland areas.

Heavy rainfall will then move northwards from Wednesday and back towards catchments that are currently in flood warnings.

Flood warnings are current for the Daintree, Mossman, lower Herbert, Tully and Murray River catchments.

Catchments expected to be affected by the heavy rains include the Black, Ross, Bohle, Haughton, Burdekin, Don and Proserpine rivers.

Rainfall totals of 50-160mm were recorded over the lower Herbert River catchment yesterday, prompting a minor flood warning.

The Herbert River at Ingham Pump Station was 7.82m yesterday and rising. River levels were expected to remain below the 10m minor flood level.

Towards Halifax the Herbert was above the minor flood level when it reached 4.22m and continued to rise. River levels are expected to remain below the moderate flood level.