If you’re venturing out of the house of New Year’s Eve, you may want to pack an umbrella, with the rain showing no sign of easing.
That is unless you’re in Western Australia, where the opposite is the case and New Year will be celebrated in the midst of a punishing heatwave.
“A very wet end to 2020 is on the way across northern and eastern Australia, while it’s still looking sweltering in the west,” Sky News Weather meteorologist Alison Osborne said.
That could set the tone for the start of 2021 with another pulse of the monsoon due and set to send moisture from the north towards the south and east.
“We may see a low pressure system develop somewhere across (northern Australia) by the weekend with the arrival of another active phase of the monsoon and that means those winds shifting more westerly across northern Australia, dragging moisture down.”
A broad arc of rain, thousands of kilometres long, is stretching across the continent, from the Top End, sweeping through Queensland, into NSW and then touching Victoria and Tasmania.
NEW YEAR AROUND THE MAJOR CITIES
Queensland looks to be the soggiest corner of Australia in the coming days, according to Ms Osborne.
“We’re seeing plenty of wet weather on top of what’s already fallen over the last week. The next eight days could see widespread areas into the triple digits from far north Queensland down towards the central Queensland coast.
“That will mean plenty of heavy rainfall and the potential for some flash flooding across those areas.”
Townsville is looking at up to 25mm of rain every day for the next week, including New Year’s Eve.
Brisbane won’t see that level of downpours but it will be wet nonetheless with up to around 10mm on December 31 and the same on January 1. Temperatures should top out at about 28C.
That wet weather will seep into New South Wales, particularly in the northern coastal areas with the addition of possible storms. Byron Bay will continue to have a very damp festive season.
Sydney should reach 25C on New Year’s Eve with a low of 19C. But the rain, which has dribbled down for the last few days, shows no sign of receding. There could be up to 8mm on Thursday and then 20mm on New Year’s Day and Saturday.
Drier in Canberra with a cloudy New Year and a maximum of 26C and low of 13C.
The rain could begin to show its face on New Year’s Day with increasing falls of up to 10mm heading into the weekend.
Thunderstorms are possible across northern Victoria, as well as inland NSW. But Melbourne should escape any of that rain just long enough to see out New Year’s Eve. It could be the night for an extra layer though with a low of 15C and a high only just sneaking into the twenties.
Friday could see a shower or two and that will increase over the coming days with up to 10mm falling on Saturday and Sunday. Rising temperatures, up to 28C on Friday, will also bring humidity.
A few spots could fall on Hobart on New Year’s Eve but not too much. It’ll be chilly in the Tasmanian capital with highs of only 17C on December 31 falling to 13C overnight. It should warm up over the coming days reaching 23C on Saturday. The first few days of 2021 will remain relatively dry with a shower or two on the weekend.
HOT, AND DRY IN SA, WA
As we head towards the west, the rain is far less of an issue. South Australia, for instance, will be mostly dry. A sunny New Year’s Eve in Adelaide with a high of 29C and a low of 15C.
The mercury will reach 33C on New Year’s Day with generally pleasant conditions heading into next week.
Perth remains hot and in the middle of a low-intensity heatwave – it could reach a scorching 38C on Wednesday. Temperatures should ease off a touch although maximums for the next week are expected to be in the low to mid-thirties.
Stormy and wet in Darwin as the monsoon returns. New Year’s Eve could see 15mm of rain falling and the same the next day with those totals only increasing into next week. The Top End should see highs of around 32C.
Overall, South Australia and southern Western Australia aside, it could be a soggy start to 2021.