107mm in two hours: Intense system triggers flood emergency
Intense rainfall continues to drench large parts of Queensland, with a flood emergency active for the state's central interior.
An emergency alert has been issued for residents in Sapphire, west of Emerald, with the Retreat Creek rising rapidly and major flooding expected.
"Properties in low-lying areas are likely to be impacted. Council advises residents to warn neighbours, secure belongings and move to higher ground now," the alert states.
A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for that region at 4.20am and remains active.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Clermont, Capella and Dysart.
⚠️Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the #CentralHighlands⚠️— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) March 16, 2021
Heavy with locally intense rainfall about the Gemfields is being observed. Intense rainfall can produce dangerous flash flooding. Local rivers are also responding with water levels rising. Warnings: https://t.co/Q4yc5B1B97pic.twitter.com/CMMqmVLMpt
Keilambete, northwest of Emerald, received 107mm in just two hours, while Barcaldine recorded 68mm in an hour.
The heaviest falls in the past 24 hours have occurred across the Fraser Coast and Central Highlands regions, with 115mm near Maryborough and 110mm at Paradise Dam.
Across southeast Queensland, the heaviest falls have been at Upper Springbrook, with 55mm in 24 hours, and on Bribie Island, with 25mm.
On the Darling Downs, 27mm has fallen at Oakey, 33mm just outside Toowoomba and 28mm at Gatton.
It comes as Southeast Queenslanders were told to are brace for above-average rainfall over the next month, but dam operators warn it will take a "significant" dump of rain to affect catchment areas.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Rosa Hoff said heavy falls would continue across southern Queensland today.
"There are potential thunderstorms likely inland where we could see 40mm recorded if there are concentrated, intense falls" she said.
"The coast and southeast corner may only see 10-30mm but inland in the Carnarvon Ranges, we are broadly looking at 30-60mm of rain which could increase to 100mm due to thunderstorms."
It comes as climate modelling predicts above average rainfall is likely across the southeast for four weeks.
Meteorologist Matt Marshall said there was "a good chance" of above median rainfall for the end of March and "a moderate chance" of above median rainfall in April.
But the wet weather has had little impact on the state's struggling dams across southern Queensland.
Wivenhoe Dam, one of southeast's largest water storage units and the main supply of water for Brisbane and Ipswich, received just received 39.2mm in the past week, bringing the dam's capacity to 36.1 per cent.
The Moogerah Dam, located across Reynolds Creek only received 1.2mm and the Clarendon Dam in the Lockyer Valley only received 19mm.
"It would take a significant amount of constant rain to see any kind of significant increase it that Wivenhoe Dam catchment," an SEQ Water spokesman said.
"People describe it as a green drought because our lawns are looking great.
"It's mainly those coastal dams that are seeing the main rainfall occurring, Hinze Dam on the Gold Coast is at 100 per cent capacity, Wappa on the Sunshine Coast is at 100 per cent capacity but in the scheme of things they're not a large part of the water supply for southeast Queensland."
Victorian tourist Donna McDowall, 41 was unfortunate to miss out on the promised sunshine when her family flew up to Queensland over the weekend.
But they still made the most of the their time on the coast, taking daughter Chloe down to Main Beach for a swim.
"We try and make the effort to visit Queensland every year, seeing family and basking in the sunshine, but unfortunately the weather did not co-operate with our holiday plans" Donna said.
Originally published as 107mm in two hours: 'Intense' system triggers flood emergency