Deluge dumps two metres in one month
THE wet tropics certainly lived up to its title in February, with several weather stations around the Douglas region registering record totals for the month.
The wettest spot in the region for February appears to have been the Whyanbeel valley, where one resident recorded 2330mm of rain for February, more than half the annual rainfall.
“It’s wet,” Bill McCarthy said, “but its not the wettest I’ve seen.
“In 1996 we had 44 inches, or 1100mm, in 48 hours.”
The south Mossman weather station cracked a record for February, registering 1191.8mm of rain, nearly 20 per cent higher than the previous record of 1005mm in 2004 (a leap year).
This is only the third time in the station’s 103 years that it has recorded more than 1000mm of rain in February.
The weather station at Daintree village also registered a record wet February, just shy of 1.5m of rain in 28 days.
The tally of 1434mm came after the wettest calendar year since the Daintree village started recording weather data in 1972.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s forecaster Ben Suter said the results hadn’t been confirmed yet, but agreed it was very likely the records would stand.
“We generally see above-average rainfall during a La Nina period, as we’ve been experiencing since mid last year,” Mr Suter said.
“This is one of the strongest La Nina events we’ve seen in a long time, so all the forecast models would suggest we’d have heavier rain and more cyclonic activity at a time like this.”
Mr Suter said a combination of factors had contributed to the huge rainfalls at the end of the month.
“It started with a south-easterly surge which gave us a lot of rain,” he said.
“That combined with the monsoon trough coming south to keep the rain going.
“Then a low formed on the monsoon trough, which meant even more heavy falls.”
Don’t expect it to dry out any time soon, either.
The BoM forecasts more rain for the next few days, and there are still two months of the wet season to go.
With La Nina persisting, above-average rainfall can be expected to hang around.