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Jessica Trevena, 17 Jan 2009, 5:53 AM UTC

Record cool and wet over north

 Record cool and wet over north
An active monsoon trough has persisted over the north for much of this month, bringing flooding rain to the Gulf Country and record cold temperatures. Inland Gulf Country areas average in the high thirties during January. So far this month, many days have been in the twenties. Burketown is averaging at 29 degrees - the coldest start to a year in at least 29 years. Mt Isa, Comooweal, Winton and even locations as far south as Boulia are averaging more than 7 degrees below average - the coldest start to the year in decades. And more rain is developing over the tropics. A persistent area of rain is currently sitting over Tennant Creek as moist tropical northerlies and drier inland southeasterlies converge. Nearly 81mm fell in the 24 hours to 9am this morning - the wettest day since March, 2007. The town has picked up another 68mm since 9am, leading to a maximum today of just 23 degrees, a massive 14 degrees below the January average. More rain and storms are likely over the tropics, particularly north of Alice Springs to Boulia to Ingham, where localised falls of 100mm are likely between now and mid week.