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Flurry of cyclones challenges WA rainfall records

Ben Domensino, Monday February 19, 2018 - 11:19 EDT

Some cyclone-weary parts of Western Australia's north coast have seen more than two years worth of rain in the last two months.

Tropical Cyclone Kelvin made landfall on Sunday morning as a category two system over the west Kimberley coast between Mandora and Biyadanga.

Kelvin was the fourth tropical cyclone to be form in Australian waters so far this season and the third to cross the coast between Broome and Port Hedland.

The system maintained a distinct cyclonic structure throughout Sunday night as it moved inland, while weakening. Kelvin was still a category one tropical cyclone when was located 65 kilometres to the northeast of Telfer early on Monday morning.

A rain gauge at Wallal Downs, near Mandora, recorded 353mm during the 48 hours to 9am on Sunday. The final 24 hours of this period saw 223.5mm reach the gauge, making it the site's wettest day in 18 years and the wettest February day since 1984.

Further east, Broome Airport has registered close to 500mm of rain since the end of last week. This latest drenching takes their running total for 2018 to 1472.8mm as of 7am today, which is more than double the long-term annual average of 615mm.

After being affected by two cyclones since the start of 2018, Broome is already having its second wettest calendar year on record. The highest annual total in records going back to the late 1800's was 1496.6mm from 2000.

Cyclone Kelvin will continue to move inland this morning and is likely to drop below cyclone strength today.

Despite weakening, a persistent feed of tropical moisture will allow Kelvin's remnant low pressure system to spread heavy rain through Western Australia's north Interior during the two days.

A number of flood watches and warnings remain in place, so be sure to check the latest emergency information on the DFES website: www.dfes.wa.gov.au/

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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