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Rain records topple after Queensland's stormy spring

By Robyn Ironside, Saturday December 2, 2017 - 09:10 EDT
ABC image
Bundaberg and other parts of the south east experienced record spring rains this year. - ABC

Rainfall records tumbled in south-east Queensland with the last three months the wettest on record in some parts of the state.

Locations on the south-east coast and in the Wide Bay-Burnett districts had their highest total spring rainfall on record, or in several decades.

Senior climatologist Blair Trewin said October in particular was one of the "wettest Octobers on record in Queensland" after a dry September and near average November.

"Spring as a whole came in quite wet because of October, which had a couple of big events that brought very heavy dumps in the space of a couple of weeks particularly in the Bundaberg area," Dr Trewin said.

"Brisbane was a bit too far south to get the really serious rainfall from the October events. It ended up coming in not too different from average."

Rosedale north of Bundaberg was the wettest place in the state receiving 881 millimetres over the three months, beating the previous record of 694.5mm set in 1961.

Records also fell at weather stations at Sandy Cape lighthouse with 707.6mm, Gin Gin Post Office with 643.8mm and Bingera Sugar Mill (529mm) while Bundaberg aero, Cania Gorge Park and Wamuran had their wettest springtime in 60 or more years.

In terms of temperatures, days were warmer than usual for much of western Queensland and parts of the south east.

Toowoomba airport and Cape Moreton lighthouse both had record high mean daily minimum temperatures throughout the season of 13.4 and 19.2 degrees respectively, and Gympie recorded its highest spring mean daily minimum for at least 20 years with 14.9.

However in the month of November, daily temperatures were cooler than usual along much of the east coast and adjacent inland districts.

Dr Trewin said Brisbane had no 30-degree days at all in November for the first time since 2010.

"It's not unprecedented but it is quite unusual," he said.

Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast, had its coldest November day on record on the 18th, with the mercury only rising to 19.6 degrees beating the previous coldest November day by 0.5 degree.

Significant weather events included severe thunderstorms at Deception Bay, Kallangur, Petrie, Highvale and Greenbank on October 31, and reports of large hail at Beaudesert, Banyo, Brisbane airport and Chermside on November 7.

Wind gusts of 109 kilometres an hour were recorded at Julia Creek on November 21, and on September 23 lightning set bushland alight on the Sunshine Coast.

The severe weather is expected to continue in summer, with heavy rain forecast in south-east Queensland on Sunday and Monday.

Forecaster Adam Woods said falls of between 20 to 40mm were expected on Sunday with isolated downpours of up to 100mm.

"Then on Monday we're looking at rainfall totals of 30 to 70mm with isolated falls of 120mm, which could cause some issues with flooding," Mr Woods said.

"The heavier falls will probably be in the south east but the whole southern interior will see some rainfall with this trough system.

"It's a fairly rigorous trough affecting most of the state, in fact."

He said the rain was not an indication the state was in the grip of a La Nina event, characterised by above average rainfall.

"The latest ENSO outlook was that it was trending towards a La Nina but we're not actually in La Nina yet," Mr Woods said.


© ABC 2017

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