January 17, 2012

Severe weather fizzler - what happened to the rain and wind?

The low pressure system that was predicited to cause heavy rainfall and damaging wind gusts today has stayed off the coast, and is expected to remain offshore.

The updated Severe Weather Warning issued at 5:05pm today downgraded the warning to just dangerous surf conditions about exposed parts of the coast. Damaging wind gusts are no longer expected about coastal land areas but a coastal waters wind warning is current.

Heavy rain areas associated with the low are also expected to remain offshore. However, light to moderate rain areas will continue about the coast and adjacent inland areas.

The computer generated rainfall forecasts for the next four days has also dropped of quite considerably, with only 25-50mm expected tomorrow, down to between 5-10mm on Thursday and then 1-5mm on Friday and Saturday (see below).

Rainfall Forecast Maps for January 18th to 22nd (Source: BOM)

This is in stark contrast to earlier predictions of 100-200mm for today and tomorrow (at least for the Gold Coast), however some areas still received moderate falls. At 5pm AEST the highest rainfall totals since 9am Tuesday were Bli Bli 54mm, Maroochydore 45mm and Mt Tamborine 33mm.

But the near-event wasn't without some fanfare- Brisbane endured its lowest January maximum temperature in over 30 years. At 1:14pm EST the mercury struggled to reach a maximum of 23.4°C, a chilly 7°C below the average and making it the lowest January maximum for 38 years. (Source: The Weather Channel)