Deluges Downunder

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  • Deluges Downunder
    18.02.2011 11:47

     

    Parts of Western Australia have been experiencing intense rainfall over the past few days with two towns across the region’s goldfields having their wettest day ever recorded. Yundamindra had a massive 126mm of rain in just 24 hours whilst Laverton measured 120.2mm in the same period.

    The deluge forced 200 residents of Laverton out of their homes and into a relocation centre as river and stream levels rose and threatened to burst their banks.

    Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Dianne, the sixth named storm of the current south Indian Ocean season, continued to flirt with Australia’s north-west coast on Thursday. The system gave Learmonth 27.8mm of precipitation in the 24 hours up to 8am local time and 38mm in Mardie.

    As a result of the warm surface temperatures of the Indian Ocean, Dianne is expected to strengthen to a category 3 tropical cyclone on Friday 18th February as it moves south-west and gives the potential of gusts of up to 100kph (62mph) in north-west coastal areas.

    Central northern parts of Australia have also been hit by strong winds and heavy rain, with ex-Tropical Cyclone Carlos the menace here. In the 24 hours ending 9.30am local time on Wednesday a phenomenal rainfall total of 340mm was measured at Darwin Airport, in addition to 174mm during the next 24 hour period.

    The rain was so persistent due to the slow moving nature of the storm. The wild weather forced the airport to close and caused local flooding which left up to 30 homes invaded by water.

    Whilst those affected by the wet weather were hoping for some relief, the downpours would have come in useful in the Upper Swan, Bassendean and Bunbury regions in Western Australia. On Wednesday, fire crews were fighting against bush fires scattered across these regions which left the surrounding areas in a heavy smoke haze.

    By: Andy Ratcliffe