QLD: Tropical Low brings major flooding rain to FNQ
Sun 27 Jan 2019
A Tropical Low, seen here moving down the lower Cape York Peninsula, has brought falls of up to 500 to more than 600mm of rain to the Daintree catchment north of Cairns in the past three days. The rain, most of which fell in the 24 hours to 09.00 Sunday morning 27th, pushed the Daintree River to its highest known level of 12.6m at Daintree Village just before midnight Saturday 26th. The previous highest level was 12.4m in 1901.
Whyanbeel Valley, between Daintree Village and Mossman, recorded 679mm over the three days to 09.00 this morning with 471.6mm of that falling in the 24 hours to 09.00. It is the station's heaviest January one-day total since records began 80 years ago. Other high figures for the three days (and 24 hours) to 09.00 in the Daintree and neighbouring Mossman catchments were China Camp 586 (426) and Mossman South 580 (378mm). However, the river rose rapidly on Saturday night due to extremely heavy rain upstream of Daintree Village over a few hours. Bairds telemetering raingauge (TM), just upstream of the village, recorded 234mm between 18.00 and 00.00 of which 125mm fell between 20.00 and 22.00. China Camp, 20km north, recorded 280mm between 15.00 and 21.00.
The torrential rain caused flash flooding as well as river flooding, with residents given very little notice to evacuate because of the sudden onset of the rain. Daintree Village was cut off by flooded roads and landslips to the south, while the Daintree River Ferry there was put out of action. Phones were out to some areas due to downed lines, and electricity was cut throughout the Daintree.
The Tropical Low has brought torrential rain between Cooktown and Cardwell as it moved south over land. It can be seen on the weather chart for 04.00 EST here as a complex or double-centred low lying in the monsoon trough. Minor flooding was being experienced today in the Barron catchment, where Kuranda Railway Station recorded 560mm over 3 days to 09.00 (350 in the last 24 hours) and Cairns Airport had 412mm (277). Some roads were cut around Cairns and there was also flash flooding in the area. There was also minor flooding across the next system south, the Mulgrave-Russell, where Gordonvale recorded 389 (169) and totals were as high as 503 (219) at Peets Bridge Alert.
As the Tropical Low moves south, Severe Weather Warnings have been issued for areas progressively farther south. As at 21.00 EST Sunday 27th a warning for heavy rain, river and flash flooding extended south to Proserpine and inland to Mount Garnet, Greenvale and Charters Towers. Flood Warnings were in effect for the Daintree, Mossman, Tully and Murray Rivers with Flood Watches for all streams from Innisfail to Proserpine.
NSW: Drought begins to bite in Sydney. Sun 27 Jan 2018 An indication that the drought is being felt in Sydney, or at least in its water catchment areas, was the turning on of the Kurnell Desalination Plant today. This occurs when combined Sydney water storages drop below 60%. It is the first time it has been used operationally since 2012. ABC provided this good backgrounder.
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