Weather turn­around as rains fall

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

With one month to go, the 2016/17 wet sea­son has bro­ken a half-decade run of un­der­whelm­ing rain­fall as gauges tip over the 400mm mark.

From the start of Novem­ber to end of March, Kar­ratha Aero recorded 412.2mm ac­cord­ing to Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy data, the sixth time on record more than 400mm has fallen in that pe­riod.

The past five wet sea­sons have failed to reach 250mm and this sea­son rep­re­sents a re­mark­able turn­around from the dis­mal 14.6mm recorded at Kar­ratha Aero in 2015/ 16’s wet.

We are well short of the 2005/06 wet sea­son, when 855.8mm was recorded by the end of April, and are un­likely to reach 2010/11’s high of 615.6mm ei­ther.

Aside from those two out­liers, the other three big wet sea­sons in Kar­ratha — 1998/99, 1999/00 and 2008/09 — each reg­is­tered fig­ures in the mid-400mm.

Fur­ther down the coast, Onslow’s sea­son has been well above av­er­age, record­ing 273.2mm to the end of March.

The Nin­ga­loo Coast ap­pears to have missed most of the rain. Lear­month Aero has recorded a be­lowa­v­er­age wet sea­son to date, with just 70.2mm in the gauge.

North of Kar­ratha the Ngurin River is still flow­ing through Roe­bourne be­cause of the con­sis­tent rain­fall in­land.

Roe­bourne it­self has recorded 340.4mm.

Port Hed­land missed most of the big rain dumps early in the year but made up for it in March. More than 300mm fell in the fi­nal days of March, bring­ing the wet sea­son to­tal to 513.2mm.

That is more than dou­ble Port Hed­land’s av­er­age.

In in­land Pil­bara ar­eas Parabur­doo Aero recorded 305.4mm, about 100mm above its av­er­age.

Hill­side Sta­tion near Mar­ble Bar has reg­is­tered 528.4mm be­tween Novem­ber and March.

It av­er­ages about 230mm and last sea­son recorded 197.2mm.

New­man has reg­is­tered 390.5mm.

BOM has in­di­cated we may have more rain yet, with a trop­i­cal low po­ten­tially de­vel­op­ing over the next cou­ple of days.

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