Unprecedented flooding hits Australia's Queensland

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 29. joulukuuta 2010 klo 22:57 (GMT)

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Unprecedented flooding has hit the northeast Australian state of Queensland, thanks to a week and a half of torrential rains and the landfall of Tropical Cyclone Tasha on Christmas Day. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated yesterday, "Some communities are seeing flood waters higher than they've seen in decades, and for some communities flood waters have never reached these levels before [in] the time that we have been recording floods." The worst flooding occurred where Tropical Cyclone Tasha made landfall on Christmas Day. Though Tasha was a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds and lasted less than a day, the cyclone dumped very heavy rains of 8 - 16 inches (about 200 - 400 mm) on a region that was already waterlogged from months of heavy rains. According to the National Climatic Data Center, springtime in Australia (September - November) had precipitation 125% of normal--the wettest spring in the country since records began 111 years ago. Some sections of coastal Queensland received over 4 feet (1200 mm) of rain from September through November. Rainfall in Australia in December may also set a record for rainiest December. The heavy rains are due, in part, to the moderate to strong La Niña event that has been in place since July. While the rains have eased over Queensland over the past few days, some rivers will not reach peak flood stage until Friday. Approximately 1000 people have been evacuated from the affected area so far.


Figure 1. Rainfall in Queensland, Australia for the 7-day period ending December 29, 2010. Image credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology.


Figure 2. Radar image of Tropical Cyclone Tasha as it moved inland over Queensland, Australia on Christmas Day (local time.) Image credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology.


Figure 3. River conditions in Queensland as of 8:30am local time on December 30, 2010. Image credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Flood warnings are in effect for over twelve rivers, and the flooding has closed approximately 300 roads across Queensland, including two major highways into the capital of Brisbane. Evacuations are underway in Rockhampton, a city of 50,000 people on the coast. Damage to infrastructure in Australia has been estimated at over $1 billion by the government, and economists have estimated the Australian economy will suffer an additional $6 billion in damage over the coming months due to reduced exports, according to insurance company AIR Worldwide. Queensland is Australia's top coal-producing state, and coal mining and delivery operations are being severely hampered by the flooding. Damage to agriculture is curently estimated at $400 million, and is expected to rise.

Flooding woes hit New Zealand
Wild weather has also hit New Zealand this week. Golden Bay on the northern end of the South Island of New Zealand had its worst floods in 150 years this week, thanks to torrential rains that dropped up to 13.2 inches (337.5 mm) in just 24 hours on Monday at one mountain location.


Figure 4. Two webcam views of the Motueka River in New Zealand taken five hours apart on December 28, 2010, showing the dramatic rise in the river due to flooding rains. Image credit: Tasman District Council. Screen shots kindly sent to me by Matt Johnson.

Jeff Masters

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352. bappit
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 16:26 (GMT)
Those baseball metaphors always confuse me.
Member Since: 18.05.2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5558
350. bappit
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 16:17 (GMT)
I saw this and thought one thing: WU.

Member Since: 18.05.2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5558
349. ycd0108
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 16:16 (GMT)
Floods in Egypt:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12098133
Member Since: 1.01.2008 Posts: 170 Comments: 4400
348. Neapolitan
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 15:41 (GMT)
I never post videos.

If you are a global warming skeptic, Fox News viewer--or, likely, both--this should keep you busy for hours. ;-)

;-)
Member Since: 8.11.2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13264
347. GeoffreyWPB
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 14:54 (GMT)
Three deaths being reported in an Arkansas tornado:

Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
346. GeoffreyWPB
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 14:48 (GMT)
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
345. Chicklit
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 14:10 (GMT)
Looks like things are cranking up in the central conus.
Hope you are all sliding into home plate by midnight. HNY!
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11045
344. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 13:50 (GMT)
Member Since: 15.07.2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52232
343. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 13:06 (GMT)
Member Since: 15.07.2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52232
342. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 13:06 (GMT)
Member Since: 15.07.2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52232
341. CybrTeddy
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 12:51 (GMT)
No WAY that we're going to see an El Nino in 2011 imo. Dec. 2011 El Nino might start, but this La Nina's too strong and might even strengthen more.


Member Since: 8.07.2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
340. GeoffreyWPB
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 12:42 (GMT)
339. severstorm
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 11:39 (GMT)
Happy New Year to Everyone
Member Since: 25.11.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 956
334. KoritheMan
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 09:33 (GMT)
Quoting traumaboyy:
Happy New Years Gang!!!


You too!
Member Since: 7.03.2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
333. KoritheMan
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 09:33 (GMT)
Quoting JFLORIDA:
This weekend looks like there is the possibility for some severe weather in the SE.

Not to mention a winter storm in the northern midsection.


Normally I'd love severe weather, being the weather enthusiast that I am. When I have plans, however...
Member Since: 7.03.2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
330. traumaboyy
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 08:30 (GMT)
Happy New Years Gang!!!
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2263
327. xcool
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 07:30 (GMT)
JRRP:
i'm gonna say neutra ;)
Member Since: 26.09.2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
326. KoritheMan
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 06:38 (GMT)
Quoting JRRP:
mmmm El Niño in July ????




Looks neutral to me, even in the region that matters most -- Nino 3.4.
Member Since: 7.03.2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
325. angellcruz
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 06:34 (GMT)
It's understandable given the high underwater earthquake activity in the last several weeks. Either by pressure, friction, or volcanic activity the sea waters are warmer and stronger steam currents flow in their way.
Member Since: 25.08.2003 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
324. washingtonian115
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 06:20 (GMT)
Quoting JRRP:
mmmm El Niño in July ????


I don't really belive that solution.I thonk we'll enter El nino in december 2011-spring 2012.Not unless La nina flips over to El nino quickly like this past spring/summer,wicth I seriously doubt will happen.
Member Since: 14.08.2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
323. sunlinepr
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 05:49 (GMT)
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
322. JRRP
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 05:41 (GMT)
mmmm El Niño in July ????


Member Since: 16.08.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5078
321. KoritheMan
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 05:34 (GMT)
320. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 05:33 (GMT)
Member Since: 15.07.2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52232
319. sunlinepr
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 05:31 (GMT)
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
317. washingtonian115
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 04:38 (GMT)
Quoting Chicklit:


This looks like trouble.

You know when the jetstream is in the position it's in,theirs bound to be trouble.
Member Since: 14.08.2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
316. washingtonian115
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 04:27 (GMT)
Quoting pilotguy1:
I suppose there is no chance this can return to a weather blog.
Wait till hurricane season comes or a real dangerous weather event is in the making/occuring.
Member Since: 14.08.2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
312. bappit
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 03:43 (GMT)
Looks like the storm is going to cover Route 66. From the Los Angeles NWS:

Statement as of 2:39 PM PST on December 30, 2010

... Significant wind gusts since 1139 am PST Thursday...
Los Angeles County peak wind gust
Burbank... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... Northwest 33 mph.
Whittier hills... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..northwest 37 mph.
Malibu Hills... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .south 45 mph.
Saugus... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .north 51 mph.
Camp Nine... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .northwest 48 mph.
Chilao... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .north 37 mph.
Warm Springs... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .west 40 mph.
Whitaker Peak... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... northwest 44 mph.
Saddleback Butte... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... southwest 33 mph.
Lancaster... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .northwest 36 mph.
Ventura County peak wind gust
chuchupate... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... north 33 mph.
Rose Valley... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..North 32 mph.
Santa Barbara County peak wind gust
Vandenberg... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... north 32 mph.
San Luis Obispo County peak wind gust
none
Member Since: 18.05.2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5558
311. xcool
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 03:40 (GMT)


Member Since: 26.09.2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
308. Chicklit
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 03:31 (GMT)


This looks like trouble.

Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11045
306. bappit
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 03:23 (GMT)
Keep Manhattan ...

Member Since: 18.05.2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5558
305. BtnTx
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 03:19 (GMT)
Quoting bappit:

How do you get in your blog? I had squirrels in my attic. Is it something like that?

Now That's Funny!
Member Since: 12.10.2001 Posts: 20 Comments: 888
304. PSLFLCaneVet
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 03:12 (GMT)



Perhaps I'll bow out.
Member Since: 23.07.2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
302. HurricaneKatrina
31. joulukuuta 2010 klo 02:57 (GMT)
Quoting washingtonian115:
Um hello key words YOU DECIDE.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/HurricaneKatrina/comment.html?entrynum=14 Its not a choice I can make. It is just the way it is.

http://www.globalsuperstorm.bravehost.com/prevention.html

http://www.amazon.com/Coming-Global-Superstorm-Art-Bell/dp/0743470656%3FSubscriptionId%3D06KMPSHEDS XXQMQVT482%26tag%3Daskcom-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D074 3470656 Read this book about how Global warming can trigger a global superstorm and a new ice age.
Member Since: 19.08.2008 Posts: 27 Comments: 267

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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