QLD: Flooding brings havoc and happiness
As the low that has confounded forecasters and brought widespread falls of over 300mm to the QLD North and Central Coasts over the past week was again forecast to move slowly away to the SE, flooding subsided in coastal creeks and rivers, and flood crests moved down the mighty Burdekin River toward the coast near Ayr. Rain has eased, with many totals on the Central Coast both today and on Wednesday between 50 and 100mm, but few above 100mm. For the week ended 9am Wednesday, the highest totals at Bureau daily reporting non-flood network gauges were:
526 MOUNT CHARLTON
521.5 DAINTREE VILLAGE
483.6 GIRU POST OFFICE
473.2 AYR DPI RESEARCH STN
459 DALRYMPLE HEIGHTS
455.6 MIRANI MARY STREET
451 DAINTREE TEA
444.2 MOSSMAN SOUTH ALCHERA DRIVE
427 HAMILTON ISLAND AIRPORT
Many inland roads remained impassable, covered by deep floodwater, washed out or boggy. A group of 12 adults and 2 children in two vehicles had to be rescued on the Gregory Development Road 90km S of Charters Towers after being marooned for two nights. Just to the east, moderate flooding in the Cape River, the main western feeder for the Burdekin Dam, suggested it had received the heaviest of the inland rain. There was minor flooding in the Burdekin above and below the dam, which began to spill this morning. Heavy rain at Airlie Beach, NE of Proserpine, flooded houses and caused several landslips resulting in 30 calls to the SES.
The value of the rain to farming and agriculture is immense, with canegrowers and pastoralists quick to point up the benefits. AgForce cattle board member Norm Kippen told The Australian "There is ample feed and because it hasn't been excessive rain in most areas, flooded creeks aren't running over banks. It's put enough on the ground to provide good feed without causing problems to livestock at all." Canegrowers Mackay district manager Scott Perkins said. "It's probably the best rain we have had in the last five years."
WA, SA, VIC, TAS: High summer temperatures
High summer temperatures are the norm in NW WA, but this January looks like being several degrees hotter. Today's maximum temperature at Nyang Station, 120km SE of Exmouth Gulf, was 47.9, its 18th day in a row of 44°+ highs. The norm is 41.2, but the average for the first 25 days of January is 44.96. National Climate Centre Climatologist Blair Trewin said "There has never been a monthly mean max over 45 in Australia (the record is 44.8, also at Nyang, in February 1998), but this looks to be a good chance." The station's all-time record maximum was 49.8, also set in February 1998 on the 21st. As the actual maximum temperatures map shows, a large part of the Gascoyne, West Pilbara and Northern Interior was above 45 today.
On the other side of the continent, top temperatures were 8 to 14 above average in southern SA, western VIC and the southern half of TAS. In SA the highest reading was 42.7 at Kyancutta, in VIC 38.8 at Nhill and in TAS 34.5 at Bushy Park in the central Derwent Valley.