Australia's "Sunshine State" told to expect rain ... for the next month


Maroochydore residents walk in torrential rain across the rising Maroochy River on January 11, 2011 on the Sunshine Coast, Australia.


Lisa Maree Williams

The Australian state of Queensland is referred to officially as the Sunshine State.

Anyone who spends time in the region, anywhere along its 4,600-mile coast, between the tropical north and subtropical south, can easily see why.

It's printed on the license plates, features in the tourism advertisements that help draw 1.4 million foreign visitors in 2010. (A stopover by Oprah in March ensured a solid percentage of those were Americans, according to reports at the time.) 

Plus it's always sunny — except when it rains 26 out of 28 days.

That's the forecast that greeted Queensland inhabitants when they woke up Tuesday — or meteorological sentence, as anyone who knows a "Queenslander" might think of it.

Memories of Queensland's recent devastating January floods sprang to many minds, despite experts saying there was little to no chance of a repeat. 

More from GlobalPost: Australians killed in "inland tsunami" cause by record flooding"Worse to come" in Brisbane flood disasterBrisbane a "war zone" after flood, as cyclone forms)

The Brisbane Times, meantime, quoted Weatherzone meteorologist Robert Wood as saying that Brisbane could expect between 6 and 8 inches of rain between now and New Year's Eve.

Citing the effects of La Nina off the east coast of Australia, Wood reportedly said:

"There is going to be lots of storms and rain in the next two weeks and our long term forecast has rain almost every day. Some of the days have heavy showers while others will have fewer showers."

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council, was admirably quick in invoking the exotic concept of a monsoon, perhaps in an effort to keep the tourism recovery momentum going after a tough few years, owing mainly to the global financial crisis, swine flu fears and flood damage.

"Some of us forget Queensland does have a wet season,"  chief executive Daniel Gschwind reportedly said. "It doesn't mean the weather is going to be miserable. It can be fine and nice during the day and then storms and rain in the afternoon."