247 teams, 383 games, on 79 cricket fields over 3 fun filled days in the Goldfields city of Charters Towers heralds the biggest cricket carnival across the globe. The carnival begins on Saturday 25th and ends on Monday 27th January this year. Now there's an old wives tale in the Towers that it always rains around the Goldfield Ashes, so let's take a look at the forecast video below to see what we can expect over this year's Ashes.
Widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected along major roads leading into the city. These showers and thunderstorms will be slow moving and contain heavy localised rainfalls. We expect some temporary road closures from highways to the North and West of the city as those storms go through and road conditions will be hazardous at times. Please make sure you check the road conditions at https://qldtraffic.qld.gov.au/ Now it is important to realise that this region has had a relatively dry wet season so far and a lot of the water around the roads will drop once the storms pass, so any road closures are likely to be temporary. Over the city itself there's a chance of a shower or storm but nothing spectacular is expected in terms of rainfall. The cloud coming off thunderstorms to the west will hopefully keep temperatures bearable but it will be extremely humid and you will feel like you're in a sauna, so make sure you keep refreshments on hand ready to go when you get there :) Temperatures won't get much above 32 - 34 degrees but be aware that humidity will make it feel a lot warmer than it is.
Early games should be done and dusted before things get too interesting weather wise. There will be a period in the early morning where dying storms from the night before may provide some very light patchy rain, but give the umpire a morning beer and get the games underway. Quick game's a good game because after about midday the weather begins turning. Storms will form to the North and West of the city from around lunch time and while once again Charters Towers may not bear the brunt of them, lightning in the vicinity (within 50kms) may increase risks to players and the rain will be a nuisance even if the worst of the storms don't hit the city. The day will be warmer than Friday with max temps at 34-35 but it will be just as humid as Friday. Be aware if you're heading downtown to revel all night, there may be some storms that continue into the evening, but most likely they will have weakened into light patchy rain. If you're camping outdoors, please make sure you have some cover for the night in case it does rain.
This is a similar weather day to Saturday, actually everything written for Saturday applies again on Sunday. There will be some ripper storms in the region after midday, they will be slow moving and will be dumping truckloads of rain wherever they occur. Once again Charters Towers will be spared the worst but not spared entirely. If I was to look at any changes to Sunday it would be a higher probability of some light rain in the early morning and a later onset of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Temperatures again between 32 and 35 degrees and tonnes of humidity so you can leave that sandpaper in the ute, just let the atmosphere swing that kookaburra for you. Night time will see storm activity breaking up into widespread mostly light rain areas.
Ever seen that movie "Groundhog Day"? yep you guessed it, cloudy with light patchy rain in the morning and more storms in the afternoon. Once again, the best of them is unlikely to affect the Towers, but once again that does not mean the Towers will be unaffected. Some of the modelling is toying with the idea of some heavier falls directly impacting the Towers on Monday but at the time of writing this, the modelling that far out remains unreliable. Overall this will be cooler day due to the likelihood of thick cloud cover all day with temps barely getting above 30 degrees but it will be extremely humid so it won't feel very cool.
SOME NUMBERS RAINFALL - totals between 20mm and 70mm for this period are likely, it is difficult to accurately estimate rainfall because if the centre of a slow moving thunderstorm hits the city, it will dump 30-50mm in an hour.
RAIN DAYS - We expect some rainfall to occur on all days with Sunday/Monday likely to be the heavier potential rain days.
THUNDERSTORMS - No severe activity is expected if the Bureau Of Meteorology issues a Severe Thunderstorm Warning it is likely because of heavy rain, we do not expect damaging winds or hail with storms.
LIGHTNING RATES - Lightning rates with these thunderstorms are likely to be BELOW AVERAGE - the storms will have very heavy rain but the intensity of the uplift is not there to create very lightning active storms. Nevertheless just one strike can be deadly so please be aware and remember to count the seconds between lightning and thunder if your count drops below about 30 to 45 (10-15kms) you are in danger.
THE DRIVE HOME
It is important to understand that what you are experiencing this weekend in the Towers is just a fraction of the rain and thunderstorm activity that is occurring to your west as a Tropical LOW remains anchored just west of the QLD/NT border. The roads west may be flooded by Monday afternoon and evening as we are expecting falls of 100-300mm in widespread areas between Hughenden and Mt Isa (the heavier rainfall likely west of Richmond). So please be prepared to spend a day or two extra and enjoy the hospitality that Charters Towers can offer you. People driving East should be unaffected, People driving North may need to be aware of hazardous road conditions along the Gregory Highway.
Have a wonderful Ashes Carnival and I guess the old wive's tale must be true, the rain does come right around Ashes time.
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