Following record breaking heatwave, Australia is now enduring 'once in a century' floods 10 months ago

Following record breaking heatwave, Australia is now enduring 'once in a century' floods

It's been an eventful opening to 2019 on the weather front.

Once in a century floods have turned streets into rivers and forced thousands to abandon their homes in northeast Australia, and authorities have warned that there will be further rain in the coming days.

Australia's north often faces heavy rains during the monsoon season at this time of the year, but the recent rainfall has been well above normal levels.

"We have not been in this situation before," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"There has been a lot of rain falling over the Townsville catchment and some of these levels are unprecedented."

Thousands of residents in the city of Townsville in northeast Queensland were without power and up to 20,000 homes are at risk of being flooded if the rains continue.

Another 142 millimetres of rain fell in Townsville on Saturday, bringing the total rain received in the last four days to 617 millimetres.

This is more than the city would normally be expected in the whole of January and February combined in a normal year.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a slow-moving monsoonal trough was sitting above Queensland, with some areas expected to receive more than a year's worth of rain before conditions ease.