THE BIG rainband that swept over South Australia and Victoria over the weekend delivered in spades in many regions but the focus now turns to northern Australia where inland areas such as south-west Queensland and northern NSW could receive up to 150mm over the next eight days.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) modelling is suggesting heavy falls in the drought-stricken northern NSW / south-west Queensland region and widespread rain of up to 100mm from a line around the Liverpool Plains right up into the Darling Downs, while Central West centres such as Coonamble are at this stage (Monday afternoon) expecting around 50mm.
And the rain could well continue throughout the month.
Multi-week climate forecasting models used by Cotton Australia's Cotton Info show a solid chance of reasonable rain for all of February, aided by the return of another Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) similar to the one that spurred good January rain, albeit markedly weaker.
The moisture in the atmosphere already delivered good rain over the weekend.
Parts of South Australia's pastoral country received over 100mm, while there were widespread falls in the Upper Mid North and through into western Victoria of 50mm as a band of tropical moisture dumped a solid band of rain over SA and Victoria.
The weather station at Yudnapinna, north-west of Port Augusta topped the charts in SA with 103mm, while Port Augusta had 67mm and Crystal Brook 60mm.
Across the border the Wimmera received between 20-60mm while the Western District also had in excess of 25mm in places.
Nhill recorded 60mm and McNeil's Bridge, south of Natimuk, 52mm.
Horsham received 44mm all up, which was its largest fall in a single rainband since September 2016, narrowly exceeding an event in November 2017.
The rain caught road crews by surprise.
There were roadworks with dirt surfaces on both the Wimmera and Western Highways that authorities were forced to shut after the rain made the surface too dangerous to drive on.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) duty forecaster Matt Michael said the rain was caused by a band of tropical moisture that had pushed unusually far south.
"You don't usually see the heat and the moisture we saw with this event in southern Australia."
Prior to the rain it was scorching, with temperatures reaching 42 at Horsham and 44 at Mildura.
There was then gusty dry storms characterised by high winds, with 98 kilometres an hour gusts recorded at Horsham airport.
Farmers and rural retailers will rejoice in the rain, which will set off significant summer spraying programs.
The heavier falls will be useful in terms of storing moisture in the profile, with farmers generally wanting to see in excess of 25mm before spraying.
The story Rain focus now on the north after good falls in the south first appeared on Farm Online.