Monsoon Low over North Queensland

  • Sailor

    Mmmh ... sailing along Queensland coast, good idea but a little bit far from Europe. (At that time it was just a professional trip for sugar cane machinery, but I enjoyed)

  • @idefix37

    For better or worse it looks like we're going to be exploring just how good the dam is tonight, it reached 241% now and the rain is bucketing. Not a good feeling. I'm in a safe location but many aren't. We're on the northern edge of the convergence tonight and that's where all the heavy action was last night.

  • The flood-gates have been opened to their maximum level, the dam has gone up to 246% (5% in two hours).

    Flood Warning for the Ross River

    Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland

    Media: Transmitters serving the Ross, Bohle and Black Rivers are REQUESTED TO USE

    TOP PRIORITY: The Bureau and Emergency Services would appreciate this message being broadcast regularly.

    Major Flood Warning for the Ross River

    Major Flood Warning for the Bohle and Flood Warning for the Black River and Bluewater Creek

    Issued at 8:10 pm EST on Sunday 3 February 2019

    Flood Warning Number: 39


    The Ross River dam spillway gates have now opened to their full setting. This setting will release approximately 1900 cubic metres of water per second out of the dam. Dangerous and high velocity flows will occur in the Ross River Sunday night into Monday. Unprecedented areas of flooding will occur in Townsville. Expect access routes to be cut.

    Conditions will change rapidly and continuously. Stay informed, look for updates and follow advice of emergency services.


    Residents in many suburbs across Townsville are warned that they may experience flooding from rapid rises of the Ross River. This includes Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan and Thuringowa Central and South Townsville areas.

    Everyone in the above suburbs should ensure they move away from riverbanks and get to higher ground before 8.30pm Sunday night. Residents still in their homes in these suburbs should move to the highest ground in their dwelling before 8.30pm Sunday night.

    A map of potential inundated properties has been released by Townsville City Council.


    8:30 PM is just two minutes from writing this.

    About 20 minutes warning for around 50,000 people to get to higher ground.


    Latest News Published by Townsville City Council
    For general council news visit here
    Spillway gates on dam are fully open
    Published on 03/02/2019 20:24

    Spillway gates on dam expected to be fully open between 8pm and 8.30pm

    Heavy rainfall into the Ross River Dam catchment is expected to push the water level to a height which will automatically open the spillway gates to full between 8pm and 8.30pm.

    Residents in the following suburbs should get to higher ground immediately:

    This includes Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan and Thuringowa Central and South Townsville areas.

    If you require evacuation assistance, contact SES on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies call 000.

    For more information listen to local radio, phone 1800 738 541 or visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard -


    Screenshot_2019-02-03 Dam Levels - Townsville City Council(2).png

    "1900 cubic metres of water per second" is about double what was flowing from the flood-gates this morning. The emergency flood-gates automatically open once water depth reaches ~43 meters.

    The tide reached full right on 8:30 PM tonight, just as the flood-gates fully opened up, so the initial full flood surge will reach the bay on a quickly falling tide which will be lowest at 2:37 AM. The tide will be full again at 9:18 AM (3.44 meters). Which will be when the flood level in the suburbs backs-up and fills the low areas and spreads out.

    Local rainfall total is 1,129 mm @ 2:20 AM, 4th Feb, 2019.

    Townsville annual MEAN rainfall = 1,127.9 mm (1940 to present).

    The dam reached 248 % @ 10 PM - steady at 248 % @ midnight.

    Screenshot_2019-02-03 Dam Levels - Townsville City Council(3).png

    The embedded thunderstorms that were present last night at around 90 km to 120 km to the NW, have been sitting about 40 km to 50 km NW tonight, and are drifting slowly down the coast to the SSE (visible on Doppler as convergent winds at ~90 degrees).

    Screenshot_2019-02-04 128 km Townsville (Hervey Range) Doppler wind.png

  • Date | Rain mm
    27/09:00am 30.0
    28/09:00am 51.6
    29/09:00am 80.0
    30/09:00am 108.6
    31/09:00am 153.0
    1/09:00am 216.4
    2/09:00am 141.8
    3/09:00am 171.6
    4/09:00am 181.4
    TOTAL 1134.4 mm

    The dam level has fallen to 237% at 7 AM.

    A local flood peak is due at 11 AM, in around 2 hrs.

    Rain has eased, the onshore flow has moved south. The low is also visibly losing its prior intensity. Drier higher-pressure air will begin to move under its S and SW limb to dry it out a bit more then slowly lift it NNE over the next few days. The cumulative rain forecast looks much better this morning, the end is in sight and the larger falls should begin to decrease.

    Screenshot_2019-02-04 Windy as forecasted.png

    The forecast is firming for the system to clear the east coast on Friday morning.

    Screenshot_2019-02-04 Windy as forecasted(3).png

  • Date | Rain mm
    27/09:00am 30.0
    28/09:00am 51.6
    29/09:00am 80.0
    30/09:00am 108.6
    31/09:00am 153.0
    1/09:00am 216.4
    2/09:00am 141.8
    3/09:00am 171.6
    4/09:00am 181.4
    5/09:00am 42.2
    TOTAL 1176.6 mm

    As it turned out this earlier rain forecast image was accurate, the heaviest rain fell with this basic geographic pattern, though many totals were a bit higher:
    Screenshot_2019-01-30 Windy as forecasted.png

    The average yearly rainfall fell in 9 days and there are 2.5 months of ‘wet season’ remaining.

    Heavier rain is mostly now to the south. The low continues to ‘dry out’ slowly, pressure remains about 993 hPa. Rain totals have all fallen back to much more manageable levels in the region.

    The dam is currently at 200% and falling fast. The heaviest rain eased just hours after the emergency flood-gate setting fully opened. The worst of the system should clear the coast on Friday afternoon (3-days from now).

    As it turns out it's a rather good dam! ... whew!
    Screenshot_2019-02-05 Dam Levels - Townsville City Council.png

    10-day rain forecast is much improved though a substantial flood is still predicted:
    Screenshot_2019-02-05 Windy as forecasted.png

    Friday at noon it will begin to finally clear the coast:
    Screenshot_2019-02-05 Windy as forecasted(1).png

    The tropical Low remnant remains in the central Coral Sea through to the 14th of Feb:
    Screenshot_2019-02-05 Windy as forecasted(3).png

    We hope it doesn't get any funny ideas .......

    Areas of very heavy storms linger.




    ECMWF model has been amazingly accurate, it gave the right trend, the right geography, the right scale and conveyed the right early-warning. And Windy has been the right display tool to depict those forecast changes.

  • The rain is finally coming to an end:

    Date | Rain mm
    27/09:00am 30.0
    28/09:00am 51.6
    29/09:00am 80.0
    30/09:00am 108.6
    31/09:00am 153.0
    1/09:00am 216.4
    2/09:00am 141.8
    3/09:00am 171.6
    4/09:00am 181.4
    5/09:00am 42.2
    6/09:00am 110.4
    7/09:00am 16.4
    8/09:00am 118.0
    9/09:00am 1.0
    TOTAL 1422.4 mm

    Approximately 300 mm higher than ECMWF's highest prediction for the area.

    Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology - Queensland

    Cancellation Severe Weather Warning

    For people in North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders, Herbert and Lower Burdekin, North West, Central Coast and Whitsundays and Central West Forecast Districts.

    Issued at 5:15 am Thursday, 7 February 2019.[4 hrs ago]

    The risk of widespread heavy rainfall has eased, although thunderstorms with heavy falls are still possible today.


    The dam is at 145% (9th Feb 9AM).

    Screenshot_2019-02-07 Dam Levels - Townsville City Council.png

    Screenshot_2019-02-07 Windy as forecasted.png

    Tomorrow afternoon it finally clears the coast moving east:

    Screenshot_2019-02-07 Windy as forecasted(1).png

    10 days from now still being a pest in Noumea:

    Screenshot_2019-02-07 Windy as forecasted(2).png

    Burdekin Falls Dam

    The END



    North Queensland rains trigger BOM special climate statement

    This was of course just a typical north Queensland ‘Big-Wet’ event. I’ve seen many of them during my life, and they're always extreme events. Especially the epic flooding events during the 1970s, triggered by the then numerous powerful cyclones. And the late 1990s and 2009-2011 period saw similar floods. Only location, intensity and period of rainfall alters in these big-wet events. I have seen several bigger, but they were spread over longer periods, so the effect was lower.

    Claims the event is ‘different’ this time, ignores numerous almost identical events within living memory, and also ignores historical documents and records of even bigger events in the past. In earlier events during the 19th century, and early 20th century, whole towns had to be physically moved (shops, houses, businesses the lot) to the tops of local hills, after many hundreds of deaths from giant floods within central and northern Queensland. What occurred this time was just a typical classic ‘big-wet’.

    All the rest of the noise about it is media and internet hype, as there is nothing out of the range of natural variability this time. It is smaller than many past events. We experience such events about every 10 years. This weather pattern can last for 2 to 3 summers in a row. It’s usually associated with a fairly warm Gulf of Carpentaria (creating slow-moving monsoon low-pressure centers within a trough in Queensland, and/or Northern Territory) and a cooler than normal Coral Sea (which we presently have). Combined with a blocking-High pattern over the Tasman Sea, which creates persistent SW Pacific trade winds, leading to strong tropical convergence banding and rain areas in North and central Queensland.

    This is the classic ‘Big-Wet’ weather pattern, it is nothing new. It’s a recurring ‘decadal’ cycle that creates the classic, “land of droughts and flooding rains”, experiences and typical agricultural boom and bust conditions. Sometimes it occurs more often (the floods occurred several times during the 1970s, triggered by numerous major cyclones), sometimes less. The mid-1980s to late-1990s was strongly drought-dominated, and the Big-Wet pattern was almost absent.

    The strongest cyclone events and most persistent ‘Big-Wet’ events usually occur in the cooler years. And the Spring and Summer of 2018-2019 have been particularly cool in North Queensland. However, that same Tasman Sea blocking-High which is a major factor in creating these cooler 'big-wet' conditions, is also a major factor in creating heat-wave conditions within Victoria and South Australia, as very hot central Australian air is drawn back down over the SE city areas, like Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra or Sydney, by the Tasman blocking high.

    The main population centers are all in the normally much cooler South Eastern part of Australia, so they scream the loudest about how hot it is within such heat waves, even when it's also cool and pleasant in Queensland (and also cool and pleasant in southern Western Australia this year, and last). That natural balancing pattern, nationally, is however ignored amongst the general heat-wave hysteria that ensues and gets hyped to the max within SE media outlets.

    But there’s nothing 'unprecedented' about those heat-waves, nor the routine weather cycle that produces it, because to get the 'big-wet' event you'll likely also get a big heat-wave event in southern states. It's never been any different during all of European settlement history within the continent. So much for the tedious histrionics about ‘climate-change’ doom each time that prosaic cyclic pattern re-occurs.

    If we stop making electrons, or driving cars, and take up a 100% indigenous lifestyle, that pattern will not go way. Because humans don't cause it. The ignorance and stupidity of the weather 'debate', pretending to be a climate ‘debate’ within Australia, is more-or-less equivalent to people in the USA claiming that if the USA turned off all of its power stations, and stopped driving all of its cars, then tornadoes would just stop forming and go away. No they won't because the tornadoes were never caused by humans in the first place. Same with heat waves and big-wet rains in Australia.

    It’s very unfortunate that such an incredible stupor and ignorance is being created by and then pandered-to plus enabled by politicians, government weather-agencies and a national broadcaster, but it is. The level of official perversity and institutional corruption has no end in sight.

    Volunteers drop fodder, supplies by helicopter in fight to save surviving cattle from floods

    North Queensland flood emergency brings heroes and heartbreak in equal measure

    Latest ECMWF shows this same low-pressure system, now called Tropical Cyclone Oma, is giving an early indication of returning to North Queensland's coastal areas late next week:

    Screenshot_2019-02-17 Windy as forecasted.png

    Screenshot_2019-02-17 Windy as forecasted(1).png

    Screenshot_2019-02-17 Satellite Viewer.jpg

    Screenshot_2019-02-17 Windy as forecasted(2).png

    Screenshot_2019-02-17 Windy as forecasted(3).png

    Screenshot_2019-02-17 Dam Levels - Townsville City Council.png

  • Tropical Cyclone OWA - (4 days to landfall)

    2019-02-19 5 PM Satellite.png

    The system weakens to a very wet rain-depression just prior to landfall.

    2019-02-19 6 PM 1.png

    2019-02-19 6 PM 2.png

    2019-02-19 6 PM 3.png

    2019-02-19 6 PM 4.png

    4019-02-19 6 PM Wivenhoe Dam.png

    Another major flood may develop if the forecast holds from here.

    Jan 2011 Brisbane flood:–11_Queensland_floods

  • Very annoying monsoonal low ... Part II.

    Tropical Cyclone Owa, with sustained winds of 55 kt (i.e. a cyclone in name only). The Coral Sea is a bit too cool this year for it to spin-up.

    Screenshot_2019-02-21 Satellite Viewer.jpg

    It's again plotting a forecast path similar to that of 4-days ago. Here’s the center-of-rotation location at 10 AM (local) for each day in the ECMWF forecast period.

    Extreme rainfalls indicated around landfall.



  • Back to the Future!

    2019-02-22 6 AM 1.png
    2019-02-22 6 AM 2.png
    2019-02-22 6 AM 3.png
    2019-02-22 6 AM 4.png
    2019-02-22 6 AM 5.png
    2019-02-22 6 AM 6.png
    2019-02-22 6 AM 7.png

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