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Thursday 20 April 2000

TC Rosita causes wind damage, flooding around Broome WA
Heavy rainfall continues in the Centre
Flooding in Perth
Rainfall for the 24 hours to 9am today (above), and maximum temperature variation from normal (below)
Tropical cyclone Rosita made landfall 35km south of Broome today with winds at the centre of the category 4 cyclone estimated at 270km/h and a central pressure of 930hPa. The town escaped major damage, though there has been massive beach erosion, some building damage, and trees and powerlines brought down. Electricity to most of the area was cut, and only half restored by Monday 24 April.

Sustained winds measured at the Airport were above gale force for about 4 hours from 10pm Wednesday to 2 this morning, with a maximum gust of 139km/h just after midnight. Press reports state a maximum gust of 143km/h. West Roebuck, about 30km inland from Broome township, reported a top gust of 115km/h. The lowest pressure reported from Broome Airport was 984.9hPa (QNH) at 0.01am.

Torrential rain fell in Broome and immediate surrounds, with the 24 hour total to 9am Friday at Broome Airport of 167mm setting a new April record. Totals fell off rapidly away from Broome, but heavy falls continued in the path of the cyclone, which tracked ESE at around 20km/h and had weakened to sub-TC status by late morning. 

Cloud bands of moisture streaming east from Rosita continue to give substantial rain around Central Australia. Papunya, in the Macdonnell Ranges 200km WNW of Alice Springs, recorded the top 24-hour fall of 64mm, while other falls in the ranges were around 25 to 50mm. It was again a bitterly cold day by Centralian standards, with maximum temperatures in a strip across the southern NT 15 below average -- the mercury at Alice Springs only reached 13.

Farther north around the Top End and in the Victoria River District, rain and thunderstorms intensified as E to NE winds converged into Rosita. Wave Hill New Station, 550km south of Darwin, recorded its heaviest April day's rain in nearly 30 years with 110mm, all but 3mm of this falling after 3pm yesterday.

Thunderstorms with locally heavy rain caused minor flooding in southern Perth suburbs around mid-morning. Jandakot, about 20km south of Perth CBD, received 36.2mm between 7.50 and 9am, while Perth Airport and Kalamunda received 14 and 16mm respectively between 6 and 9am. Satellite pictures show storm clouds building rapidly between 2 and 5am, probably in response to a sharpening surface trough just off the coast, an upper jet stream entrance overhead, and cooler middle atmosphere air moving overhead and increasing instability.

Today's highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am

167.0 Broome AP WA
142.0 West Roebuck Broome WA
109.6 Wave Hill New Station NT
101.2 Dampier Downs No 2 gauge Derby WA

Other heavy falls in northern WA:
93.5 Roebuck Plains Broome
61.0 Bidyadanga Broome
56.0 Country Downs Broome

Heavy falls in southern NT:
64.4 Papunya
48.2 Mereenie
36.0 Newhaven
34.0 Territory Grape Farm Ti Tree
30.0 Gemtree Park

Today's highest & lowest temps

Other extremes

Broome AP WA: 123mm in 6h to 3am, 106.8 falling in 4h to 1.55am
West Roebuck Broome WA: 95.4mm in 4h30m to 2.30am
Southeast Waterbank Broome WA: 96mm in 6h to 3am
Jandakot AP WA: 36.2mm in 1h10m to 9am
Pirlangimpi NT: 55mm in 3h to 6pm
Alice Springs AP NT: 34mm in 6h to 9pm
Jervois NT: 34mm in 6h to 9pm
Ti Tree NT: 40mm in 6h to noon

Broome AP WA: 139km/h gust and 102km/h 10 min average wind at 0.01am
West Roebuck Broome WA: 115km/h gust and 80km/h 10 min average wind at 0.05am

Flood peaks:
Bulloo at Autumnvale Qld: around 6.1m this morning with moderate flooding.
Bulloo at Thargomindah Qld: Steady and probably at peak on 5.23m today with moderate flooding.

Records set this day

Daily rainfall:
Broome AP WA: 167.0mm is highest April fall in 61 years of record
Wave Hill New Station NT: 109.6mm is highest April fall in 28 years of record

Maximum Minimum
35.6 Normanton PO Qld 27.3 Horn Is Qld
3.0 Crackenback NSW -1.5 Goulburn AP NSW
-1.5 Fingal Forestry Tas

Greatest variations from normal

Maximum Minimum
26.7 Pemberton WA
21.0 Geraldton AP WA
19.5 Jurien WA
14.0 Giles MO WA
15.0 Jervois NT
13.0 Alice Springs AP NT
-1.5 Fingal Forestry Tas

  • Times stated are the clock time in force in the relevant state or territory

  • Stories, including those in the archives, are as new and corrected information becomes available, with updates underlined

  • Australian Weather News gratefully acknowledges the Bureau of Meteorology as the collector and main source of meteorological data in Australia, along with the thousands of observers who record the weather and rainfall daily. I also thank Don White and the many contributors to the Aussie Weather mailing list who routinely provide much appreciated information.