'Big Wet' continues over Australia.

  • 'Big Wet' continues over Australia.
    21.01.2011 09:22


    Rain over Tasmania cleared just in time today for the second One Day International between Australia and England to get under way in Hobart. The afternoon turned out sunny but windy with temperatures in the low twenties Celsius. 

    Rain has been particularly heavy in the north of the island state, with rivers overflowing and a risk of flash floods continuing through today and tonight.

    In the 24 hours to 9am local time, 50 to 60mm of rain fell in the east, on top of a deluge in the previous 24 hours that brought as much 282mm locally.

    Last night and this morning the heaviest falls were in the northwest, with Lake Mackenzie reporting 158mm of rain in 24 hours, and Yolla 131mm, following 100mm on Thursday. Moreover, strong and squally winds have caused structural damage in the north.

    The devastating floods across Queensland and New South Wales have been well documented but Tasmania’s historic rainfall has been rather overlooked.

    According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the rain at Yolla was the highest 24-hour total ever recorded in January, contributing to what is already its wettest January since records began in 1905.

    Burnie and Wynard, with 87mm and 107mm respectively, also had their wettest ever January days. They, too, have broken their January rainfall records, as have KingIslandAirport and Yambacoona.

    The most torrential rain, however, was on Thursday around the northern East Coast, when Falmouth measured that huge total of 282mm in 24 hours. This was most ever recorded in Tasmania in January. Scamander was not far behind with 278mm, and both easily surpassed the previous high which was 247mm at The Springs on MountWellington in 1916.

    An unusual aspect of the last two days’ rainfall is that the heaviest seems to have been in lowland areas towards the coast. Rainfall would normally be enhanced by orographic uplift to give the highest totals over the mountains.

    By: Stephen Davenport