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Record January rainfall causes flooding in the southeast

Press Release, Friday January 14, 2011 - 11:57 EDT
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Press Release

Record January rainfall causes flooding in the southeast

14/01/2011: Southeast Australia has had another round of heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours, leading to flooding in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

"A low pressure trough has been drawing massive amounts of tropical moisture through the country's interior and into the southeast over the past few days. During the last 24 hours, a low has slid south along the trough, which has helped to intensify the rain," Weatherzone meteorologist Josh Fisher said.

Eastern parts of South Australia were inundated with the heavy rain on Thursday, leading to localised areas of flooding. Parilla picked up 83mm in the past 24 hours, which has now made it the wettest summer in 100 years of records, with a total of 283mm.

The heaviest rain then spread into Victoria on Thursday night and into Friday. Central and western parts of the state have seen the highest totals with widespread falls of 50 to 100mm, but there were even local amounts reaching as high as 130mm.

"The rain has been soaking western Victoria over the past five days, bringing 150 to 250mm during the week period. This is an astonishing amount of rain, especially since January totals typically range between 20 and 40mm," Fisher said.

Ballarat's average January rainfall is 38mm, but so far they have received 203mm in just five days. This has already made it their wettest January since 1909.

Maryborough has had their wettest month since 1878 after being soaked with 228mm of rain in five days. Typically they only see 30mm in the whole month of January.

Persistent rain has also affected the usually dry areas of New South Wales. Broken Hill has seen 41mm just in the last 24 hours and a total of 116mm this month, yielding their wettest January in 47 years.

"The good news is that the trough is finally progressing east and is bringing a drier change in its wake. Western Victoria has already seen the sunny skies break through this morning and Melbourne will clear out during the afternoon," Fisher said.

Despite the clearing conditions residents should still take caution as swollen rivers and streams continue to rise.

Media Inquiries:

Josh Fisher
02 9965 9269

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