Record-breaking start to wet season

Record-breaking start to wet season


The wet season is underway in the north


THE wet season has well and truly arrived for the north of Western Australia in the wake of late November and early December rainfall data.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) Broome Airport in the Kimberley had its wettest November rainfall in 80 years of records.

BoM said thunderstorms produced isolated daily rainfall of between 40-100 millimetres in the north and west Kimberley late in November, while Broome Airport, Theda and Cygnet Bay had their highest November daily rainfall on record on November 21 or 23.

"Dozens of sites in the South West Land Division, including Perth metro, had their wettest November on record, while dozens more sites had their wettest November rainfall for at least 20 years," BoM said.

Last week that was added to as two low fronts merged on the west Kimberley coast, causing rivers to run and warnings of flooding across the region and into the Pilbara.

In the seven days to Monday, more than 300mm of rain had fallen at Country Downs and Cygnet Bay in the Kimberley - while Port Smith on the coast south of Broome recorded a whopping 469mm.

The low pressure system made its way inland, dumping rain into catchments that had been in need of replenishment after years of dry conditions.

Liveringa station recorded 193mm, Kimbolton 189mm, Udialla 182, Dedesa 174mm, Bidyadanga 171mm, Mount Amhurst 168mm, Flora Valley 158mm and West Roebuck 152mm.

Napier Downs recorded 131mm, Anna Plains station 129mm, Myroodah 123mm and Lansdowne 119mm.

In the Pilbara, Bonney Downs topped the list with 159mm, followed by Indee station 152mm, while Marble Bar recorded 144mm and Wallareenya 135mm.

Carlinde recorded 98mm, Port Hedland airport 94mm, Mardie station 89mm and Yarrie 53mm and Minderoo 22mm.

The Interior region also experienced a good drop with Warburton Airfield receiving 114mm and Tjukayirla 100mm.

The Eucla region saw 105mm fall at Mundrabilla station.

In the Gascoyne falls up to 49mm were recorded at Mingah Springs, while Dalgety Downs saw 35mm, Bulloo Downs 30mm, and Murchison 27mm.

The Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen's Association and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA (PGA) both said they didn't know of any stock losses due to the flooding, but expected to hear of a few.

"It's amazing to see the difference between La Nina and El Nino,'' said PGA president Tony Seabrook said.

"There's a definite track showing up from south of Broome which travels south east toward Adelaide.

"That area has received a lot of rain lately and is making the world of difference."

BoM has forecast that the fortnight of December 14 to 27 was "likely to be wetter than average for the far tropical north (greater than 80 per cent chance)".


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