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Outback Queensland cops major drenching as BOM signals early wet season

Monday October 11, 2021 - 22:54 EDT
ABC image
The Birdsville Hotel after a heavy downpour brought more than three times the average monthly rainfall to the town. - ABC

Residents in rural and regional Queensland are celebrating a second night of heavy rain, and hopes are high for an early start to the wet season. 

Severe storms brought three times the monthly average of rainfall to some towns in the state's north-west, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

Overnight, a super cell triggered warnings for towns in the North West, Central West and Channel Country, including Cloncurry, Mount Isa, Winton and Windorah.

The Monument, in the Shire of Cloncurry, received the lion's share of the deluge, recording 31mm since 9.00am Monday.

Birdsville received 23mm, well above the average of 8mm for October.

"Lots of places are sitting around that 20mm mark," BOM meteorologist Helen Reid said.

The downpour is set to continue over the weekend before dry weather returns, Ms Reid said.

Wet season likely to 'arrive earlier'

Long-time Birdsville resident David Brook said the drenching was a welcome weather change for the town, which he said had recorded about 50mm for the year.

"We had about 8mms in 10 minutes. We've probably only received around 50 mm for the entire year and then today we've had at least 20mm," he said.

The widespread rain comes after the BOM released its annual Severe Weather Outlook report this week, signalling an early start to the wet season.

"It is also likely that the first rains of the northern wet season will arrive earlier than normal for much of northern Australia," BOM senior climatologist Greg Browning said in the report.

"Warm waters to the north of the continent, and the sea surface temperature patterns across the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans, are driving our outlook towards more rainfall for eastern and northern Australia," he said.


© ABC 2021

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