monsoon low that has now been a discrete feature on the synoptic chart
for a week
began accelerating to the southeast as it moved through central southern
QLD today. During the week, its central pressure has only varied between
1004 and 996hPa. All images courtesy
of the BoM unless
strip 3,000km long and 1,000km wide has received between 50 and 300mm
during the week to 9am from this system which was still drenching southern
QLD and northern NSW this afternoon. Top fall for the week was 338.5mm
at Devencourt Station, south of Cloncurry QLD.
flooding cuts diagonally across the length of QLD at 4pm today, following
the track of the monsoon low. Warnings were in force for 17 river systems
today in this extraordinarily widespread flood event.
gaugings for the 24 hours to 9am have contracted to the southern third
of the state. Continuing heavy rain in the southeast has led to low level
and minor flooding, while extreme deluges have been recorded in the southwest.
| Below: Flood
status in Gulf rivers at 4pm today.
| Below: Rainfall
totals in SW QLD for the 24 hours to 9am. Falls exceeded 100mm in a swathe
from west of Winton to Quilpie. Tulmur, 90km WSW of Winton recorded the
national top fall to 9am with 194mm, while Quilpie registered 191mm
in the 24 hours to 3pm today.
| Below: Flood
status in southwestern rivers at 4pm today.
| Below: Rainfall
for the 24 hours to 9am in the Maranoa/ Darling Downs.
| Below: Flood
status in Maranoa/ Darling Downs rivers at 4pm today.
| Below: Remarkably
uniform moderate rain fell over SE QLD for the 24 hours to 9am with a
huge number of locations recording between 50 and 80mm. The heaviest
falls were on the Sunshine Coast (sic) and in the mountainous country
behind the Gold Coast where Macleans Bridge Alert, 35km south of Brisbane
CBD, recorded 168mm.
| Below: Visible
satellite imagery hourly from 11am to 5pm EDT (excluding 2pm) shows the
development of the storm line over ground heated by the sun but in close
proximity to the moister air under the monsoonal cloudband. Weatherzone
rain, floods continue in QLD
The monsoonal low continued to deliver falls of up to 200mm
in a day along its southeastward path through western QLD today. Tulmur,
90km WSW of Winton recorded 194mm for the 24 hours to 9am, while 500km to
Quilpie's 24 hour total to 3pm was 191mm, 175mm of which fell in 12 hours
3pm. Heavy rain was also recorded in SE QLD. Flood warnings are in place
for 17 river systems, with major flooding already occurring in 10 of them.
Heavy rain, however, had cleared from the northern two-thirds of the state,
apart from the tropical east coast, by this morning, and from all except southern
border areas by midnight this evening as the low crossed into NSW.
The QLD Government today activated natural disaster relief arrangements for
up to ten shire council areas, while food and medical supplies were
on their way to isolated properties. About 4000 sandbags were transported to
Longreach to protect homes and businesses where flooding is expected to be
similar to the 1997 flood, but
not as high as the 2000 flood. A rescue helicopter flew from Townsville
to deliver food and medicine to residents
region. A Longreach SES spokesman said the worst-hit areas were
north of Longreach and around Blackall, with roads cut and residents isolated
people stranded since Wednesday by the swollen Buckley River and other streams
on the Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and the
Territory border drove out this morning after the waters receded. However,
the Flinders Highway eastwards to Townsville remained cut by flooding
Gilliat Channels west of Julia Creek. An early estimate of $20m has been put
The summaries that follow refer to the maps to help make sense of the geography
and dynamics of a complex flood situation. Riverr systems are described from
left to right, or northwest to southeast.
Nicholson: Minor flooding continues in the lower half.
Gregory: The two red triangles shown on the boundary of the
Nicholson and Leichhardt basins are in fact major flooding in the Gregory at
Riversleigh and Gregory Downs. The major flood peak is downstream
from Gregory Downs, and expected to reach
weekend. The peak at Gregory Downs, of 13.9m at noon today, was a record. Doomadgee
peaked at 3.2m this morning.
Leichhardt: The sole red triangle shows major flooding at
Lorraine where the peak of 16.2m occurred this evening.
Flinders: Richmond (orange triangle) peaked at 7.7m early
this morning with moderate flooding. The Cloncurry River at Cloncurry fell
about 1m today with major flooding continuing.
The band of 100+ rainfall on the map lies close to the path of the low as
it passed through western QLD. The low moved SSE overnight, then nearly stopped
between around 6am and noon halfway between Boulia and Windorah before accelerating
rapidly off to the SE this afternoon. High 24-hour totals along its track apart
from those already given were Stonehenge 134 and Retreat 135, which are the
red dots between Longreach and Windorah. 74mm of Quilpie's deluge fell between
6 and 9am, while
South Comongin, to the south of Quilpie, recorded 94mm to 9am and a further
86mm to 9pm. There were falls of 40 to 60mm after 9am in the Paroo and Warrego
basins, with 70 at Cunnamulla the top fall to 9pm.
Georgina: River rises are occurring in
the Georgina River at Urandangie and the Burke River at Boulia.
Diamantina: Very rapid rises overnight to major flooding at
Elderslie (the red triangle) reflecting the 194mm rainfall at Tulmar (the green
triangle to the SW).
Cooper: The chain of orange triangles shows moderate flooding
along most of the Thomson, with a peak of 5.5m last night at Muttaburra (second
A similar chain of red triangles shows major flooding along most of the Barcoo,
with a peak of 6.8m at Coolagh (first red triangle NW of Blackall) this morning,
|Quilpie river height plot.
Bulloo: Torrential rain in a band about 50km north and south
of Quilpie led to a 2m rise in the river there between 6am and 2pm. Major
flooding was occurring at Adavale and Quilpie, and moderate flooding had extended
to South Comongin by this evening. All stations are rising.
Paroo: Rising at all stations, with major flooding at Humeburn and
rapid rises at Eulo to moderate during the evening.
Warrego: Several peaks moving down the system, with minor
flooding above and just below Charleville.
Maranoa/Darling Downs rainfall
General falls of 25 to 70mm in the eastern half easing off to light falls
after 9am. However, thunderstorms gave St George 101mm between 6pm and midnight,
57.2 in the hour to 9pm, and an area east of Warwick 50 to 60mm late afternoon
Maranoa/Darling Downs flooding
Mungallala Creek: Fell below minor at Tomoo in the north,
but rose above moderate at Deelamon in the south during the evening.
Maranoa: Rose above moderate at Mitchell during the evening
as peak approached.
Balonne/Condamine: A peak was approaching Warkon, east of
Surat, this evening with major flooding, however heavy rain for the past 48
hours in the Condamine is causing upstream rises to minor and, this evening,
Moonie: Moderate flooding at Flinton.
Weir: Heavy rain
overnight has caused major flooding at O'Connor, north of Goondiwindi, which
had begun to fall this evening. Major flooding was also occurring at Surrey
to the west of Goondiwindi.
Macintyre: Peak of 5.12m around midnight this morning at Holdfast.
Moderate flooding downstream at New Kildonan and Goondiwindi.
SE QLD rainfall
Rain fell continuously over Brisbane and SE QLD in the 24 hours to 9am with
periods of heavy rain around the middle of yesterday in the north and late
yesterday afternoon and evening around Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Maclean,
35km S of Brisbane CBD, recorded 168mm for the 24 hours, 91 falling between
3 and 6pm yesterday, and 51mm falling in the hour to 5pm yesterday. The long
list of other heavy falls is given below. Rain mostly eased off after 9am this
morning, but eratic
very isolated heavy falls. The Overflow, 20km NW of Beaudesert, recorded 121mm
between 3 and 6pm, 90 falling between 4 and 5pm. Hervey Bay Airport had 63mm
9am to noon, 44.6 falling between 10 and 11am.
Late this evening, isolated minor flooding was occuring in parts of the Logan,
Brisbane, Maroochy, Burnett,
Mackenzie (moderate on the Comet around Rolleston), Belyando, and Don coastal
Isa mops up
A clearer picture of the damage inflicted by yesterday's record deluge
in Mt Isa emerged today.
The Leichhardt River, which flows through the middle of the town, broke its
banks during the early hours of yesterday morning, flooding 30 houses, about
10 to a depth of 3m. The SES was then kept busy for the rest of the day tarpaulining
roofs and sandbagging threatened premises. Lake Moondara, Mt Isa's water supply,
went from 21% full on Tuesday to overflowing, with 70,000 megalitres estimated
to have flowed into the storage. Road access to Camooweal to the west, Normanton
to the north, Cloncurry to the east
were all cut. Phone services into the city were also cut for a time.
rain begins in northern NSW
Very heavy rain began falling on the NSW Northwest Slopes and
Plains this evening as the monsoon low approached. In the 24
hours to 9am, there were widespread falls of 50 to 100mm on the North
Coast from activity yesterday, with top registrations of 115.4 at Murwillumbah,
114 at Boat Harbour (5km WNW of Murwillumbah) and 110 at Ballina Airport.
There were again scattered heavy falls of 50 to 100mm across the northern
inland, with Quambone in the northern Central Western Plains topscoring
This evening, as the monsoonal low crossed into NSW SE of Cunnamulla around
midnight, reports of torrential rain began to arrive from the Northwest
Slopes and Plains.
49.8mm between 8 and 10pm. Further details will be given in tomorrow's
storms SE NSW, eastern VIC
In a situation similar to that of 13
January, a line of thunderstorms developed early this afternoon
in clear air parallel to the southern edge of the monsoonal cloudmass
lying over NSW.
A virtually straight line of storms developed around 2pm, gradually
extending from Hay to Orbost, then moved ESE along its own axis
giving some heavy falls to areas that experienced successive storms.
Combienbar (65km N of Orbost) in East Gippsland recorded 43.6mm
in these circumstances between 5 and 9pm. Bombala, across the border
in NSW, received 27mm between 6 and 9pm. There were reports of trees
blown across roads from Dederang and Yackandandah south of Wodonga.
11.2mm fell at Myrtleford in 30 minutes causing flash flooding.
Lightning from the thunderstorms also caused a number of fires in
dry in the continent's SW
In contrast to the northeast of the continent, the southwestern
half has not recorded measurable rain for the past week. The
remarkably large rainless area (see )
is the result of several factors. A burst of cool, dry air from well
the south of the continent arrived
WA on 6 January and gradually spread through much of the west and south.
A high pressure ridge was then established along the WA and SA coasts,
in effect locking the dry air in from southern influences and generating
warm, dry E to NE winds across the continent's southwest. At the same
time, the circulation provided by the monsoonal low has swept part of
this dry airmass into far northern WA, giving dry southeasterlies and
suppressing thunderstorm and rain activity normal at this time of year.
News sources: Townsville Bulletin, AAP, ABC, Border Mail (Albury)