Monday, January 10, 2011

Queensland, AUS - 1 in 100 year storm

A 1 in 100 year storm, that's not quite normal now, is it?

Quoting the "Courier Mail" here:

WEATHER Bureau chief Jim Davidson described the downpour that caused the fatal Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley floods as a super storm.
Mr Davidson said reports were received of 80mm of rain falling in just over 30 minutes, but he suspected falls of up to 200mm would have occurred in areas where rain gauges were not set up.
The area was primed for a flood by substantial wet weather, soaked soil which could take no more and 100mm falling in the area on Monday.
The bureau had been tracking the storm and as the intense event unfolded had sent out a severe weather warning for flash flooding.
As forecasters became aware of the scale of the event, this was upgraded to a flood warning and local authorities notified.
``We don't always have the capacity to see this before it happens,'' Mr Davidson said.
He said the extraordinary flood was on a one-in-100-year event and the volume of water caught most people by surprise.
Falling on the top of the Great Dividing Range as it did, caused dramatic downstream deluge in the Lockyer Valley.
A senior police officer said the flood occurred so quickly that the priority for emergency services was to go straight into action, rather than waiting to send out warnings.
Mr Davidson said a review would be conducted to look at whether the bureau could do better at predicting such events or if improvements could be made to the warning system.
The outlook for southeast Queensland weather was improving. Heavy falls were expected to reduce to showers tomorrow.
 Things are not looking good there! 

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