Saturday 19 APR 2003

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2003

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QLD North Coast wet season goes out with a bang

200hPa wind analysis shows a strong jetstream entrance over central southern QLD. COLA
See the article for interpretation. Above: 850hPa temperature, humidity and wind. Below: Precipitable water and instability. Bottom: 700hPa vertical ascent. All at 10am EST today. COLA

Steady heavy to torrential rain fell for much of today along a 250km strip of the QLD North Coast. From the Daintree south to Tully, most raingauges on the coastal plains and eastward-facing mountain slopes recorded between 100mm and 225mm midnight to midnight as a burst of colder southern air overrode a small and nearly stationary area of moist surface air.

Heavy rain began falling to the south and west of Tully late last night, with 36mm already in the gauge by midnight at Bolinda Estate, 20km WNW of Tully, and 37 at Abergowrie Bridge, 10km NW of Ingham. Overnight, the area of rain cleared from around Ingham but extended north across Cairns to the Daintree. Most recordings in the area for the 24 hours to 9am were between 20 and 90mm, with the highest reports from flood warning gauges being 96mm at Jarra Creek Alert, 95 at Bolinda Estate Alert and 93 at Davidson Creek Alert, all 10 to 20km to the W or NW of Tully.

Rain fell continuously for the rest of the day, with pulses of torrential rain in the Cairns area around midday and around Tully/Innisfail later in the afternoon. Cairns Airport recorded 78mm between 11am and 2pm, while about 5km SW of Innisfail Tung Oil recorded 91 and nearby Marco Street a corroborating 80mm between 3 and 6pm. By Midnight this evening, Jarra Creek Alert had recorded 225mm for the calendar day. See the Wettest box below and the report for Sunday 20 April for further details.

The cause of the rain is clear from the accompanying maps. The top right chart shows the situation at 850hPa or about 1.5km. Buried under the deep green area of high relative humidity is the QLD North Coast, with further moisture upstream being fed onto the coast by moderate ESE winds. The red isotherms show that a tongue of cooler air overlies the area. The middle right map confirms deep moisture through the atmosphere with 45mm of precipitable water in suspension in the atmosphere off the coast, and a buff area showing enhanced instability. The lower right map measures vertical movement at 700hPa or about 3km; again there is a bullseye of strong uplift (dotted lines) off the North QLD Coast. Overlying all of this is the entrance to a moderately intense jetstream over central southern QLD (top left), which enhances the uplift in the low to middle atmosphere by literally sucking the air up into the accelerating air aloft. Added to the ample moisture supply and moderate levels of instability caused by cooler upper air and the jetstream entrance is the topography of the QLD North Coast. Here, the highest mountains in QLD rise to over 1,500m only 20 to 30km behind the coast, adding extreme orographic uplift to the meteorological mix.

The Bureau of Meteorology's map of the area shows the location of stations mentioned above.

National weather extremes for today

Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology

Records set this day: (none known)

Quality control note: Data is final. It includes late-received rainfall data and has been subject to BoM quality control checks.
Data is as received at 13:38EST, 03/03/2004.

Weather observations for today
Noteworthy  Weather         Capital  Cities         Regional  Cities       Alpine  Stations
Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Bulletins and Weather Notes

Hottest
Highest maximum temperature>Greatest variation above normal maximum Highest minimum temperatureGreatest variation above normal minimum

39.4 ONSLOW AIRPORT W Pilbara WA
38.8 PANNAWONICA W Pilbara WA
37.8 ONSLOW W Pilbara WA
37.7 LEARMONTH AIRPORT W Pilbara WA
37.7 NYANG STATION W Gascoyne WA

+7.4   32.5 KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT Goldfields WA
+6.8   31.6 BALLADONIA Eucla WA
+6.0   34.6 YEELIRRIE Goldfields WA
+5.8   39.4 ONSLOW AIRPORT W Pilbara WA
+5.7   33.5 LEONORA Goldfields WA

27.1 COCOS ISLAND AIRPORT Islands ISL
27.0 TROUGHTON ISLAND N Kimberley WA
27.0 MCCLUER ISLAND N Rivers NT
27.0 COCONUT ISLAND N Peninsula QLD
27.0 VARANUS ISLAND Islands ISL
27.0 NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR Islands ISL

+7.3   17.0 TOCUMWAL AIRPORT Riverina E NSW
+6.0   16.0 SALMON GUMS RES.STN. Goldfields WA
+6.0   13.6 BARRABA POST OFFICE NW Slopes N NSW
+4.8   18.5 MORAWA Central West WA
+4.7   15.0 KATANNING COMPARISON Cent Wheatbelt WA

Coldest
Lowest maximum temperatureGreatest variation below normal maximum Lowest minimum temperatureGreatest variation below normal minimum

9.0 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
9.5 MT HOTHAM Upper NE VIC
11.2 CHARLOTTE PASS (KOSCIUSKO CHALET) Snowy Mtns NSW
11.4 FALLS CREEK Upper NE VIC
11.9 MOUNT WELLINGTON Southeast TAS

-6.2   17.6 MURRURUNDI POST OFFICE Hunter Valley NSW
-5.5   23.7 CARDWELL EDEN ST N Coast--Herbert QLD
-5.3   23.9 CAIRNS AERO N Coast--Barron QLD
-5.2   18.3 LOSTOCK DAM Hunter Valley NSW
-5.0   14.3 NERRIGA COMPOSITE South Coast NSW

-3.7 LIAWENEE Central Plateau TAS
-1.0 THREDBO AWS Snowy Mtns NSW
-0.6 ROSS (THE BOULEVARDS) Midlands TAS
-0.2 FALLS CREEK Upper NE VIC
-0.2 TUNNACK FIRE STATION Southeast TAS
-0.2 MELTON MOWBRAY (NORTH STOCKMAN) Southeast TAS

-7.1   1.4 TENTERFIELD (FEDERATION PARK) N Tablelands W NSW
-6.7   7.4 AMBERLEY AMO Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
-6.6   3.0 STANTHORPE (GRANITE BELT HRS) Darling Downs E QLD
-6.5   8.0 GYMPIE Brisbane/SE Coast QLD
-6.4   7.0 KULGERA N Plateau NT

Wettest Major City Extremes
Todays highest rainfall totals for the 24 hours to 9am. It includes the top 5 totals nationally followed by all reported falls of 50mm or more.

223.0 LAKE FINNISS FARM N Rivers NT
100.0 TREE HOUSE CREEK N Coast--Barron QLD
93.4 SHIPTONS FLAT N Coast--Barron QLD
90.0 DEERAL N Coast--Barron QLD
89.0 DAINTREE TEA N Coast--Barron QLD

NORTHERN TERRITORY
    N Rivers
223.0 LAKE FINNISS FARM

QUEENSLAND
    N Coast--Barron
100.0 TREE HOUSE CREEK
93.4 SHIPTONS FLAT
90.0 DEERAL
89.0 DAINTREE TEA
76.0 GRAHAM RANGE
63.0 HAPPY VALLEY
57.0 BABINDA POST OFFICE
57.0 MT SOPHIA
    N Coast--Herbert
87.0 JARRA CREEK TM
75.2 BEMERSIDE
72.0 ELPHINSTONE POCKET NO1
70.0 TULLY SUGAR MILL
64.0 TULLY MCQUILLEN ST
61.0 TULLY TM
60.0 PALM ISLAND WATER TREAT
56.6 ABERGOWRIE BRIDGE

NEW SOUTH WALES
    Sydney--east
72.4 CROMER GOLF CLUB
67.0 NEWPORT BOWLING CLUB

  Max+/- norm Min+/- normRain to 9am
BROOME AIRPORT 34.9 +0.6 24.2 +1.7 0.0
ALBANY AIRPORT 22.3 +0.4 12.7 +1.0 1.4
PERTH AIRPORT 27.2 +1.7 14.3 +1.3 0.0
KALGOORLIE-BOULDER AIRPORT 32.5 +7.4 16.4 +3.8 0.0
DARWIN AIRPORT 34.1 +1.4 20.7 -3.3 0.0
ALICE SPRINGS AIRPORT 28.0 0.0 7.5 -5.0 0.0
ADELAIDE (KENT TOWN) 25.4 +3.0 9.7 -2.5 0.0
MOUNT GAMBIER AERO 21.7 +2.3 3.9 -4.7 0.2
CAIRNS AERO 23.9 -5.3 22.0 +0.4 19.4
TOWNSVILLE AERO 29.6 0.0 22.7 +2.2 0.0
ROCKHAMPTON AERO 27.3 -1.4 16.9 -0.9 0.0
AMBERLEY AMO 25.8 -1.3 7.4 -6.7 0.0
BRISBANE AERO 25.3 13.1 0.0
ARMIDALE AIRPORT AWS 16.2 8.2 0.0
COFFS HARBOUR MO 22.7 -1.3 15.7 +0.5 0.4
NEWCASTLE NOBBYS SIGNAL STATION AWS 20.0 -2.8 15.0 -0.3 2.0
SYDNEY (OBSERVATORY HILL) 20.1 -2.2 14.5 -0.1 11.6
PROSPECT DAM 20.5 -3.0 13.8 +0.7 1.4
WOLLONGONG UNIVERSITY 20.6 -1.9 15.6 +1.3 1.5
CANBERRA AIRPORT 19.6 -0.2 5.8 -0.8 0.0
WAGGA WAGGA AMO 22.7 +0.4 6.5 -2.7 0.0
MILDURA AIRPORT 25.0 +1.6 6.8 -3.3 0.0
EAST SALE AIRPORT 20.5 +0.3 7.5 -1.1 0.0
MELBOURNE REGIONAL OFFICE 20.1 -0.1 9.1 -1.6 0.0
LAVERTON RAAF 18.0 -2.1 7.0 -2.8 0.0
BALLARAT AERODROME 20.0 +2.5 7.0 -0.4 0.0
LAUNCESTON AIRPORT 17.3 0.0 2.5 -4.1 0.0
HOBART (ELLERSLIE ROAD) 15.7 -1.6 6.1 -2.8 0.0

Downpours Gales & Gusts
High rainfall for periods of 6 hours or less. Highest wind gusts above 89km/h (storm force) or mean wind above 62km/h (gale force). Wind direction and mean windspeed shown in brackets.
NORTHERN TERRITORY
    Arnhem
MANINGRIDA
31.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 10.3mm/h
MILINGIMBI
31.0mm in 3 hr to 00:00 10.3mm/h
    Roper-McArthur
WOLLOGORANG
21.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 7.0mm/h
    Darwin-Daly
CAPE DON
21.0mm in 3 hr to 16:00 7.0mm/h
28.0mm in 3 hr to 17:00 9.3mm/h
28.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 9.3mm/h
QUEENSLAND
    N Coast--Barron
CAIRNS AERO
14.8mm in 1 hr to 09:00 14.8mm/h
18.0mm in 3 hr to 09:00 6.0mm/h
8.4mm in 11 min to 11:30 45.8mm/h
13.4mm in 15 min to 11:45 53.6mm/h
12.6mm in 15 min to 12:00 50.4mm/h
39.0mm in 1 hr to 12:00 39.0mm/h
44.0mm in 3 hr to 12:00 14.7mm/h
18.0mm in 30 min to 12:30 36.0mm/h
44.0mm in 1 hr to 12:30 44.0mm/h
25.0mm in 1 hr to 13:00 25.0mm/h
15.6mm in 1 hr to 13:30 15.6mm/h
14.0mm in 1 hr to 14:00 14.0mm/h
41.0mm in 3 hr to 15:00 13.7mm/h
86.0mm in 6 hr to 15:00 14.3mm/h
10.6mm in 1 hr to 21:30 10.6mm/h
16.0mm in 1 hr to 22:00 16.0mm/h
11.8mm in 1 hr to 22:30 11.8mm/h
LOW ISLES LIGHTHOUSE
12.2mm in 27 min to 22:57 27.1mm/h
18.4mm in 1 hr to 23:30 18.4mm/h
    N Coast--Herbert
SOUTH JOHNSTONE EXP STN
17.6mm in 1 hr to 17:00 17.6mm/h
11.8mm in 1 hr to 18:00 11.8mm/h
36.0mm in 3 hr to 18:00 12.0mm/h
12.8mm in 1 hr to 20:00 12.8mm/h
19.0mm in 3 hr to 21:00 6.3mm/h

QUEENSLAND
    N Coast--Barron
GREEN ISLAND : 72(140/ 63 ) at 23:00
    Central Coast E
HAMILTON ISLAND AIRPORT : 76(140/ 63 ) at 01:20
    Brisbane/SE Coast
CAPE MORETON LIGHTHOUSE : 74(150/ 67 ) at 18:00