Heavy rain and floods in FNQ, but Townsville misses out
Tue 6 Feb 2018 Updated Updated Wed 7 Feb 2018
A southeasterly wind surge pushing slowly up the Far North QLD coast over the past two days has brought heavy rain and flooding between Tully and Cairns.
The surge, related to a small low that developed in the monsoon trough off the Far North QLD coast on Tuesday, brought showers that were slow-moving and at times stationary, dumping their moisture in the one area for hours at a time. For example, between 150-220mm was recorded in a number of gauges in 6 hours to 05.00 Monday. Rainfall maps for the 24 hours to 09.00 Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from the BoM show the gradual northward movement of the system.
Minor flooding occurred from the Tully to the Barron catchments, with some streams between Innisfail and Gordonvale briefly peaking into moderate range. The heaviest rain over the two days ended 09.00 Tuesday fell SW of Innisfail, where Menavale Alert gauge recorded 527mm and nearby Japoonvale Alert 576. However, 503mm of Japoonvale's rain fell in 24 hours to 21.00 on Monday, neatly straddling the BoM's standard 24-hour daily reading period of 09.00 to 09.00. No wonder the nearby Paronella Park falls and river were in full spate.
Sadly, only 200km down the coast from this aquatic bounty, the unofficial capital of north QLD, Townsville, missed out almost completely with only 18.2mm to clean out the dust in the airport raingauge. The city has recorded only 166.6mm in the first half (November to January) of its wet season compared to its average of 466.1. By a quirk of coastal geography, the city of nearly 200,000 suffers almost uniquely wide swings in its rainfall for a tropical wet climate.
Heavy snow in China, Japan Tue 6 Feb 2018: China's worst blizzard this winter clogged the world’s largest rail network at the beginning of February in central and southern parts of the country, cutting off critical supplies of thermal coal bound for power stations. The blizzard exposed some major flaws in China's rail and coal policies, wrote Reuters. Meanwhile, a 10km traffic jam occurred in Japan's Fukui prefecture, 300km W of Tokyo, when the heaviest snow in nearly four decades fell on 6 February. Snow was still falling when the depth was measured at 1.36m at 1400 local time. [Reuters]
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