Flash flooding in North Queensland after record rainfall


Flash flooding in North Queensland after record rainfall

Queensland rain

Laurence Palombi watches as water spills over Applin’s Weir in Townsville. Picture: Evan Morgan Source: Townsville Bulletin

RECORD rainfall has drenched North Queensland as monsoonal conditions continue to plague the entire Tropical North Queensland coast.

More than six times the total average July rainfall was dumped across Townsville in just 24 hours with an average of 89mm clocked from 9am Monday to 9am yesterday. More than 40 regions from Bowen to Cairns, were drenched with over 100mm of rain with about 20 city regions hit with 80mm or more for the wettest July day since 1941.

The unseasonable wet conditions are predicted to move south through Queensland, NSW and Victoria in the coming days, with the weather bureau predicting heavy falls of up to 100mm in parts of Brisbane by Saturday.

2011 was the year of extreme weather

Weather Channel forecaster Dick Whitaker said the severe weather would continue through the week in all eastern states and in South Australia.

“Over the next eight days, widespread totals of up to 50mm are forecast for Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, with isolated areas receiving falls of up to 100mm,” Mr Whitaker said.

“Many inland towns could also exceed their entire July rainfall this week.”

Ironically, the extreme weather in the traditionally dry winter month comes ahead of predictions another El Nino, with drought conditions, is set to return next summer.

“This has been quite a significant event,” weather bureau forecaster Adam Woods said of the north Queensland floods.

“There have been a few rainfall records broken, all on the tropical coast where it is usually dry weather this time of year.”


Queensland rain
Melbourne tourist Greg Rocke enjoys Townsville’s cooler weather. Picture: Evan Morgan
Source: Townsville Bulletin


Daily rainfall records were set along the northern coastline with some regions experiencing their heaviest July rain in over a century, theTownsville Bulletin reports.

With 145mm, Innisfail recorded their wettest July day in 125 years while Lucinda, north of Townsville, totalled 141mm, making it their heaviest rain in 118 years.

Rainfall totals up to 160mm caused flash flooding and river and creek rises from Cairns to Bowen.

The continuous deluge averaged about 15mm per hour overnight with the rare weather event shocking forecasters.

Townsville Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Greg Connors said the recent big wet pulled totals similar to those in the middle of the wet season.

“These totals wouldn’t be surprising in February but in July these are very unusual rainfall totals,” he said.

“The average rainfall in July for the whole month is normally 14mm so it has been a remarkable event and daily rainfall records have been set for a number of places in just 24 hours.”

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