Queensland is bracing for intense rainfall and thunderstorms to sweep parts of the state next week.
The rare May deluge is expected to break rainfall records for the far north and west which will bear the brunt of the potentially dangerous system bringing falls of up to 250mm.
The flood-battered southeast is expected to be spared the worst of the intense falls.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged residents to “lean forward” in the coming rain event with saturated catchments unlikely to cope, increasing the risk of flash flooding.
“We will be monitoring it very carefully,” the premier said on Friday.
“It’s very unusual to see this type of situation occurring in far north Queensland, especially this time of year which is usually near the end of the season.
“We are expecting higher rainfall totals than we’ve seen before in May.”
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster David Grant says the intense rainfall is being triggered by a low-pressure system moving across the inland which is “highly unusual” for this time of the year.
The showers and thunderstorm activity will increase in coming days and continue into next week, the forecaster said.
“We could see 100 to 200mm totals … in western and northern parts of the state.”
Mr Grant said the average rainfall was around 10 to 20mm, so to receive a 100 to 200mm rainfall event in May was very rare for a lot of those locations.
The warning is unwelcome news for the state already smashed by months of rainfall that left a trail of devastation across Queensland, with floodwaters claiming 14 lives.
It prompted a stern reminder from police commissioner Katarina Carroll for extreme caution in the next week.
“We have had a number of tragedies out of the last events – some 14 people passed away, the commissioner said.
“A lot of that was people driving through floodwaters or being caught in floodwaters obviously rising.
“Please do not drive through those flooded waters.”