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La Niña ‘refusing to weaken’ as flood threat hits South East

Several towns on Wednesday had record 24-hour May rainfall totals, including 244mm at Mourilyan, south of Innisfail, before the heaviest rain moved offshore. Widespread rain is expected to move south, increasing the risk of flooding for Central and South East Queensland.Brisbane rain radarSky News Weather Chief Meteorologist Tom Saunders said La Nina, which would usually break down during autumn, was “refusing to weaken”. “The Pacific Ocean is definitely still in a La Nina phase and that is the reason why we are getting out-of-season rainfall for Tropical Queensland but also for the southeastern corner we are getting frequent rain events right now,” Mr Saunders said. “The modelling shows La Nina should weaken, however, the modelling has shown that for the past few months and that hasn’t happened. “It is likely to weaken as we move into winter but it is not guaranteed.” A Calen woman, 31, was found dead in her car which had been swept into floodwaters at Mount Ossa, north of Mackay, about 8am Wednesday. Two passengers were able to escape from the car which was swept from a causeway on Surprise Creek Road about 5am. More than a dozen flood warnings were current late on Wednesday as the Bureau of Meteorology issued initial minor flood warnings for the Mary River at Gympie, and the Lower Brisbane River Catchment. The Brisbane River at Mt Crosby, Moggill, Jindalee and Brisbane City was expected to stay below the minor flood level.Residents in lower-lying areas of Brookfield and surrounding suburbs, however, were last night warned about potential flooding from Moggill Creek.The creek was at 5.98m and rising at 5.40pm on Wednesday, as nearby Gold Creek and Enoggera Reservoirs spill over.Gold Creek was sitting at 150 per cent capacity at 4pm, while Enoggera was at 117 per cent.Brisbane City Council also cancelled all CityCat and ferry services last night due to the “deteriorating weather conditions”. Queensland satellite (rainfall)Residents north of Brisbane were on Wednesday bracing for further flash flooding into the evening after water began inundating the road and parkland behind Morayfield Shopping Centre. About 48mm of rain fell from 9am to noon at Landsborough, while 39mm fell at Maleny and 42mm fell at the Glasshouse Mountains. Rain gauges in many parts of Townsville reached up to 200mm by Wednesday morning, causing flash flooding.While relief from the deluge was expected in North Queensland, a major flood warning for the Haughton River and a moderate warning for the Bohle River were still current late Wednesday.The heavy rain also topped up Queensland’s largest dam to overflowing. Water started flowing over the spillway of Burdekin Falls Dam, about 150km south of Townsville, on Wednesday after the storage had already been at more than 90 per cent capacity since the start of the month. Brooke Pagel from the Bureau of Meteorology said while La Nina was adding moisture to the atmosphere, chance also contributed to this week’s wet weather with two slow-moving troughs fuelling each other. The Bureau of Meteorology will today update its Climate Model Summary, providing an update on La Nina and the Indian Ocean Dipole to give Australians a better idea of weather to come.Rain is expected to persist around central Queensland today, gradually moving south across the Central Highlands and Capricornia. More heavy rain is also expected in the state’s South East. “It’s almost a separate weather system for what’s happening in the northern parts of the state and what’s happening in the south,” Mr Saunders said. Wet weather will continue on Friday for the Wide Bay region and South East Queensland before gradually easing across the weekend. The weather won’t completely clear though with widespread showers expected across the state next week.

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