NSW: Heavy coastal rain brings sudden flooding to Mid North Coast
|River height graphs for the Bellinger River at Bellingen (above) and the Nambucca River at Bowraville (below) show the dramatically sudden rise caused by torrential localised rain this evening and overnight into Tuesday 27 October. BoM
After a day of light to moderate rain, this evening brought heavy to locally torrential falls to parts of the North and Mid North Coasts. Very moist northeasterly winds feeding into a trough lying across the area were enhanced by the development of a small low off the coast, turning the winds briefly southeasterly and giving heaviest rain to the south-facing valleys inland from Coffs Harbour to Nambucca Heads. Minor to moderate flooding developed rapidly in the Bellinger, Orara, Kalang and Nambucca River basins and continued into Tuesday (see also Tuesday's report).
Bellinger River: The heaviest falls were in the Bellinger River catchment, where they were concentrated in the Never Never Creek catchment which extends northwards from Bellingen for about 14km and empties into the Bellinger River about 5km upstream of the town. Crystal Creek, in the headwaters of Never Never Creek, recorded 324mm in the 18 hours to midnight this evening of which 280mm fell between 3pm and midnight. 240mm of this was recorded in six hours between 5 and 11pm. Farther down Never Never Creek, Gleniffer recorded 219mm in the 9 hours to midnight. The result was a dramatic rise in the river level at Bellingen, as shown in the graph at right, with water level jumping from a dry-weather norm below 1m to nearly 6m, just below moderate flood level, in 9 hours. Never Never River at Gleniffer peaked at 3.04m at midnight.
Elsewhere in the Bellinger catchment, rain was more patchy. Dorrigo (Mountain Top) recorded 118mm in the 9 hour to midnight, but Upper Darkwood only 66 and Point Lookout 29. Consequently, main river flooding in the Bellinger above the Never Never Creek junction remained well below minor flood level going into Tuesday.
Orara River: The heavy rain in the Never Never Creek basin spilt over the ridgeline northward into the headwaters of the Orara, giving 164 millimetres of rain at Lowanna during the 9 hours to midnight this evening. Flooding developed on Tuesday with continued heavy rain.
Kalang River: In the next river south of the Bellinger, the Kalang, the heaviest rain was recorded at Spicketts Creek on the southeastern flank of Mt Gladstone. 170mm fell at this flood rainfall station in the 9 hours to midnight, but was followed by 169mm in the next 4 hours to 4am.
Nambucca River: An average of 110 millimetres of rain was recorded during the 9
hours to midnight, though rain intensified soon afterwards. The Nambucca at Bowraville responded by rising from its dry-weather norm of about half a metre to nearly 9m in 12 hours with moderate flooding - see the graph above.
Elsewhere: There were patchy heavy falls right across the North and Mid North Coast districts through the day. Some of the heaviest recordings (which included some thunderstorm falls) were Murwillumbah 122mm 6pm to 3am 27th, Upper Main Arm (Brunswick River) 78mm 6pm to 3am 27th, Goonengerry (10km SW of Mullumbimby) 83mm midnight to 3am 27th, Repentance (in the same area) 148mm midnight to 3am 27th, Huonbrook (same area) 128mm 9pm to 3am 27th, Alstonville STP 153 9pm to 3am 27th, Tabulam 59mm 6 to 9pm, Yamba 60mm 9pm to 3am 27th and Woolli Caravan Park 71mm 6pm to midnight. Rainfall stations around Coffs Harbour recorded intermittent heavy rain through the day - the airport registered 77mm 9am to 9pm, but between 9pm and 6am 27th the heavens opened to give Perry Drive 100 (64 midnight to 3am), Red Hill 111 and Shephards Lane 93mm.
NSW: Sydney rain eases but records fall. Rain eased in Sydney this morning after giving the city some of its heaviest rain in many months. As shown in records, Belrose, Collaroy, Peakhurst and Canterbury all recorded their heaviest 24-hour rainfall totals for October, Belrose with 102mm. The heaviest falls in the 24 hours to 9am were 114 at Frenchs Forest and 112 at Castle Cove. Flash flooding closed Oxford Falls Road early this morning while power failures blacked out about 900 properties at Frenchs Forest and Beacon Hill after a tree fell on major power lines. Power was also cut to homes in Pennant Hills for more than an hour. A man was killed when his car skidded off Putty Road at Wilberforce into a tree due to wet weather. SES received about 80 calls for assistance during the wet period.
NT, QLD: Widespread dust through the Centre. Much of southern NT and western QLD experienced thick dust in the air today raised by strong southeasterly winds in the strong pressure gradient between a trough over western QLD and a ridge through NT. Visibility was reduced to a few kilometres or worse, with Brunette Downs NT and Winton QLD down to a few hundred metres during the morning.
WA: Hot night in the Southwest. As the minimum temperature chart below shows, most of WA experienced overnight lows between 6 and 12 above the average. Cape Naturaliste and nearby Busselton both had their warmest October nights on record. In the case of the Cape, the low of 18.6 was its warmest for October in 53 years of record.
WA, QLD, NSW: Bushfire situations improve. In NSW, Light rain has helped firefighters controlling the Blue Mountains fire 10km south of Wentworth Falls today. About 60 firefighters are working on the blaze which is not threatening property but has burnt out 650 hectares of bushland on the Kings Tableland. A Section 44 emergency has been declared for the area allowing extra resources to be allocated. In QLD, a fire at Gaeta, about 70km west of Bundaberg, has burnt through 35,000 hectares (350 square kilometres) and continues to be contained by about 60 crew including some flown in from NSW. In WA, firefighters are still trying to contain a fire in the Prevelly-Gnarabup area near Margaret River that has burnt through 350ha. The fire was finally contained on Tuesday 27 November.
QLD: Storms hit Brisbane area. Storms that crossed Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast late afternoon/evening knocked out power to 22,000 properties with many not restored until Tuesday. Energex, which had 40 crews at work, recorded 10,000 lightning strikes during the storms. Brisbane's northern suburbs and Ipswich suffered most. Downed power lines at Lindum threw rain services on the Cleveland Line into disarray. Flights at Brisbane Airport were disrupted when baggage handlers shut down operations between 6.30 and 9pm because of the intensity of lightning close to the airport apron. There were widespread heavy falls of rain (see wettest). Deception Bay, 30km north of Brisbane CBD, reported the heaviest fall of 132mm, 127 of which fell fairly steadily through the 6 hours from 6pm to midnight.