Beni plays cat and mouse off Central QLD coast
Former Tropical Cyclone Beni, which has maintained a general northwesterly
movement and a remarkably even central pressure of 1000hPa over the past two
days, deepened this morning. The Brisbane Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre issued
an advice at 7.50am EST, and by 11am Beni was estimated to have a central pressure
of 995hPa and be 250km east of Mackay. During the evening, the cyclone weakened
to be 999hPa, 250km east of Bowen and moving slowly west.
Heavy rain continued to fall on the Sunshine Coast
and extended north to Rockhampton, with most places near the
coast recording between 25 and 150mm between 9am and midnight. The heaviest
falls during this period were north of Noosa and included 155mm at Hervey Bay
136mm at Mt Elliot and 154 at Toolara both north of Gympie, 134 at Gladstone
and Maryborough. 38.2mm fell in the hour to midnight at Gladstone Airport.
By evening, minor flooding was being reported from isolated gauges in the Maroochy
a worry in TAS
The Victorian and NSW megabushfires have overshadowed the fact that Tasmanians
are also having a fiery summer. Currently four fires are causing concern
with hot weather forecast for the next few days. Of these, a fire which
broke out around midday yesterday in the Launceston suburb of Waverley
has the most potential for damage, and had burnt out 100ha by late today.
Other fires near Picton in the southeast, Strathgordon in the southwest
and Lake Crescent NW of Oatlands are currently mostly contained.
dry January worsens drought
|Rainfall deficiencies for the 10 months to the end of January. Of
note is the huge area of Queensland that has had its lowest April to
January rainfall on record. BoM
The Bureau of Meteorology's Drought Statement shows that the situation
in eastern states has generally worsened during January. "For the ten-month
period from April to January, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies covered
the vast majority of Queensland, NSW and Victoria, more than half of South
Australia, much of the southern NT, significant areas in southwest WA and
the far east of Tasmania," the statement says. "A large area through central
Queensland and northern NSW has had record low rainfall for the April to
dating from 1900."
By contrast, the recent flooding rain around the Gulf of Carpentaria produced
the wettest April to January period on record
for this area, effectively breaking the drought there.
The Bureau's January
Drought Statement also shows the results of the National Climate
Centre's recent analysis of rainfall to answer the question "how
does the current drought compare with other notable ones from the past?" Comparisons
can be made in many ways, but taking only the current 10 month period,
the NCC estimates this to be the third-worst drought since 1900 in terms
of area covered, and the fifth-worst in terms of absolute deficiency
of rain. The map above shows 53.8% of the nation covered by a serious
rainfall deficiency, which is defined as the lowest 10% of rainfall amounts
recorded during the period. Only the 10 month periods November 1901 to
August 1902 (61.2%) and May 1982 to February 1983 (60.3%) covered greater
temperatures break records in northern WA, NW NT
Maximum temperatures 6 to 8° above the February average were
enough to break some long-standing records in the WA North Kimberley
and NW NT today. Kimberley Research Station, 20km NW of Kununurra
and 60km ESE of Wyndham WA had its hottest February day in 46 years
of computerised records when the mercury hit 42.0°. Nearby Kununurra
Airport, and Timber Creek over the border in the NT also set new records.
February maxima around here are typically 5° or so below those
in December before the Wet arrives.
Heavy storms continue to dump very isolated, but very
heavy rainfall in desert and fringe pastoral areas of eastern WA. Laverton,
250km NNE of Kalgoorlie, recorded 48mm in the 24 hours to 9am.
Maximum temperatures of 40° or above covered much of SA today, with
Port Augusta scoring the nation's top temperature of 43.8. The warm weather
also spread into western Victoria and Tasmania where coastal areas, whose
average daytime temperatures are kept low by the cooling effect of the
Southern Ocean, experienced departures of up to 18° above normal.
Adelaide's top of 41 was 11.6 above average, while Hobart recorded 32.3,
10.7 above the norm.
On the 4th a dust devil lifted about a dozen tiles off a house
roof in Port Augusta.