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Tasmania awash

Martin Palmer, Saturday May 29, 2010 - 14:29 EST

Eastern Tasmania has been struck by a deluge of record breaking rainfall.

A trough swept through on Friday evening, delivering exceptionally heavy rainfall and storms. A potent mix of cold air in the upper atmosphere and a massive influx of moisture from the west combined to deliver the wet conditions.

The Northeast and East Coast districts were particularly badly hit with many areas recording 24 hour totals well beyond their monthly mean.

- Swansea posted 132mm at 9am today, their highest 24 hour total in 56 years and their highest on record for May (122 years). The monthly mean is 58mm.

- St Marys hit a huge 158mm, their heaviest in 24 years for May.

The rain has bucked the trend for May, which has been unusually dry for most of Tasmania. Many places are looking at a 60 to 70% rainfall deficit for the month. This has been mainly due to a lack of strong cold fronts reaching up from the Southern Ocean, the main source of rainfall for Tasmania.

Flooding has been reported on the South Esk River and St Pauls River, although flood levels are now subsiding.

Rain is still falling, albeit somewhat lighter. Further bursts of showers are likely until Monday.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2010

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