THUNDER: Storms are expected in the Central Highlands, but rain is less likely.
THUNDER: Storms are expected in the Central Highlands, but rain is less likely.

WEATHER WATCH: Thunderstorms approach Central Highlands

TODAY carries the best chance of rain this week for much of the Central Highlands and Coalfields.

There were clouds this morning, which have now cleared, but isolated showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon for Moranbah, Clermont, and Emerald, a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said.

But he explained that where there was thunder, there was not always rain.

The limited amount of moisture in the atmosphere causes thunderstorms to form higher – two or three kilometres – above the surface. This is called a high-based thunderstorm.

Despite the storm holding little rain within, some water is often released into the dry air beneath it, evaporating before hitting the ground.

We are left with strong gusts, lightning, and perhaps enough moisture to slightly dampen the earth.

“Under the core of the storm might get a millimetre or so, but the majority is gusty winds, lightning, and thunder,” the spokesman said.

Tomorrow, storms are predicted to move further west towards Alpha and Jericho.

Temperatures will stay in the mid to high 30s area-wide for the rest of the week, and from Thursday it will be reliably hot and sunny.

High fire danger remains.