Drought-Ravaged Australia Is About To Get Drenched

Big, big rain is likely to drench large parts of eastern Australia this week including in many drought-ravaged areas that need it most. But will it be enough to break the drought?

No. By the Bureau of Meteorology's own definition, that takes more than one rain event:

"Drought is rarely broken in a single event or month; typically, regular rainfall over a period of several months is required to remove the large rainfall deficiencies currently in place."

But this is an extremely significant weather system which could bring a couple of months of rainfall in a couple of days to a vast swathe of eastern Australia -- from Queensland, through NSW and all the way to Victoria -- as the predicted rainfall maps show.

Here's Thursday.

And Friday:

As you can see from the above maps, huge falls of 50mm or more are predicted from Thursday into Friday across inland areas of Australia which are lucky to see anything more tan 10-20mm in the entire month of December most years.

Channel 10 weather expert Josh Holt told 10 daily that while it's not yet certain exactly how the models will play out, it appears likely that former tropical cyclone Owen could re-form in the super-warm 31 degree waters of the Gulf of Carpenteria.

If all pans out as predicted, the cyclone will turn back towards Queensland, move south, and then interact with colder air in an upper level trough moving through the southern half of Australia.

Tropical moisture could then be drawn south -- right where it's most desperately needed.

"When these two airmasses collide, we could see widespread rainfall across NSW and Victoria VIC of 25-50mm, with isolated heavier falls with any thunderstorm activity," Holt said.

You can see all the district forecasts for NSW here, for Victoria here, and for Queensland here.

Farmers will no doubt have their fingers crossed the forecasts are right, especially in NSW, where 99.9 percent of the state remains drought-affected -- 43.8 percent of which is severely drought-affected.