Wel­come rain on the radar

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - CAS GAR­VEY

EX- TROP­I­CAL cy­clone Owen is ex­pected to have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the North Queens­land coast in com­ing days, dump­ing wel­come rain on the re­gion.

Bu­reau me­te­o­rol­o­gist Harry Clark said while the ex­act path of the low was un­cer­tain, there was a very high chance Townsville could get falls of 60mm or more on Sun­day.

“We’re ex­pect­ing the sys­tem to slowly drift to­wards the coast to­wards the week­end which will lead to an in­crease in show­ers to the south of the low pres­sure sys­tem,” Mr Clark said.

“Some­where along the cen­tral east coast will see sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in show­ers and rain ac­tiv­ity and in Townsville we’ll see par­tic­u­larly good falls on Sun­day.”

ALL eyes are on ex- trop­i­cal cy­clone Owen, with the weather bu­reau tip­ping huge falls south of wher­ever the sys­tem crosses over the next few days.

Bu­reau me­te­o­rol­o­gist Harry Clark said while the ex­act path of the trop­i­cal low was un­cer­tain, there was a very high chance Townsville could get falls of 60mm or more on Sun­day.

“We’re ex­pect­ing the sys­tem to slowly drift to­wards the coast to­wards the week­end which will lead to an in­crease in show­ers to the south of the low pres­sure sys­tem,” Mr Clark said.

“Some­where along the cen­tral east coast will see sig­nif­i­cant in­creases in show­ers and rain ac­tiv­ity and in Townsville we’ll see par­tic­u­larly good falls on Sun­day.”

But will Townsville’s fa­mous “dome” pre­vent any de­cent rain from fall­ing as pre­dicted this week­end?

Mr Clark said the the­ory be­hind Townsville’s rain dome wasn’t en­tirely crazy; the rea­son we miss out on so much rain was be­cause of the shape of our coast­line.

“Rain­fall is con­nected with south- easterly winds that pro­duce the on­shore falls for most ar­eas,” he said.

“But with Townsville, be­cause of the shape of the coast­line the winds go par­al­lel to the coast … so in­stead of the show­ers com­ing on­shore they sort of run along­side the coast and the rain is redi­rected where the coast­line changes shape again sort of to­wards Card­well and Bowen.”

He said with thun­der­storms from the west, the moun­tain­ous to­pog­ra­phy of­ten made them fiz­zle out.

“When they hit the moun­tains they can some­times break up when they hit the seabreezes; that’s not to say you can’t get de­cent storms from the west,” Mr Clark said.

Heavy rain and thun­der­storms caused havoc for ar­eas near Char­ters Tow­ers on Wed­nes­day, with pow­er­lines be­ing brought down and mo­torists hav­ing to be res­cued from their cars. Fur­ther north, Sings Farm near Card­well re- corded the most rain­fall in the state after 189mm fell in the 24 hours to 9am yes­ter­day.

In Card­well it­self, 159mm of rain was recorded, while Up­per Reid and Four Mile sta­tions north of Char­ters Tow­ers recorded 56mm and 52mm re­spec­tively. The Townsville suburb that re­ceived the most rain was Stu­art Creek, Ju­lago with 44mm.

Pic­ture: ALIX SWEENEY

EYES ON THE SKIES: Xan­the La­mari, 15, is ready for the fore­cast rain.

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