January 24, 2013

Another wet Australia Day for 2013

Up to 125-200mm of rain could dampen South-East Queensland's 2013 Australia Day weekend according to current long-term rainfall forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Wednesday 23 January 2013.

South-East Queensland Rainfall Forecast for Saturday 26 January 2013
(Issued by Bureau of Meteorology on 23/01/13)
Saturday will see showers increasing and we could possibly see falls of between 25-50mm of rain fall over most of the south-east forecast district. However Sunday is looking at to be the wetter (and windier) part of the weekend with the coastal strip possibly getting 100-150mm, with the inland parts of the south-east forecast district getting between 25-100mm. Plus there's a chance of a storm as well.

South-East Queensland Rainfall Forecast for Sunday 27 January 2013
(Issued by Bureau of Meteorology on 23/01/13)
This forecast wet whether is thanks to an approaching monsoon trough that currently lies from the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald over land to the west of Port Douglas, to near Innisfail on the east coast and into the western Coral Sea, and is expected to move slowly southwards along the east coast over the next couple of days producing squally, moderate to heavy rain periods with isolated thunderstorms.

Queensland 7-Day Rainfall Forecast
(Weatherzone Extended GFS Rainfall Forecast)

On Saturday, the monsoon trough and low are expected to continue moving slowly south-southeastwards near the east coast, maintaining squally, moderate to heavy rain periods and isolated thunderstorms near its southern and eastern flanks. The upper trough over the Coral Sea will combine with moist onshore winds to trigger scattered showers about the remaining east coast and adjacent inland.

On Sunday, the monsoon low is likely to be in the vicinity of the Capricorn or southern Queensland coast, and should lead to scattered showers and some rain areas and isolated thunderstorms over the southeast of the state. (Forecast Source: BOM QLD State Forecast issued on 23/01/2013)

Bruce Highway Flooding between Tully and Cardwell (Source: ABC News)

This comes after north Queensland cops a drenching after hundreds of millimetres of rain has fallen as a result of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald with roads cut due to flooding in the region and train services suspended between Cairns and Townsville. (Source: ABC News)

Infrared NHC Enhancement - East Australia - MTSAT
From tropic.ssec.wisc.edu as at 11:32 UTC on 23/01/13

A repeat of Australia Day week in 2012?

So after a wet Australia Day week in 2012 resulting in heavy falls, localised flooding and road closures on the Gold Coast - this year looks like it might not be much different.

The guys at South Brisbane Storms shared their thoughts on their Facebook page about the current modelling from the European (EC) weather model

EC Weather Model via South Brisbane Storms
It (the weather model) re-intensifies the remnants of Ex TC Oswald into a nasty hybrid low right off the coast from Brisbane later on Sunday and into Monday. If this comes off, we could experience cyclonic type conditions with potentially damaging winds and massive amounts of rain. (Source: South Brisbane Storms)

As these are just computer generated 'estimates' of what the weather could do, the Bureau of Meteorology's Severe Weather Warning issued at 5:42pm on 23 January 2013 currently only covers the forecast areas and conditions over a 24-48 hour period and currently only applies to north & central Queensland "Damaging winds, with gusts to 90 km/hr, and heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, are likely in the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Herbert and Lower and Burdekin and the northern and eastern parts of the Peninsula district for rest of today and Thursday and will develop about the Central Coast and Whitsundays district during the evening."

So should any further information comes to hand we'll post it up for you here, on Twitter and on our Facebook page.

Preparing for Flooding:

Gold Coast City Council's disaster management website (goldcoastcity.com.au/disaster) has excellent resources and information on how to be prepared for a disaster event. As a community, our strongest buffer in any disaster is: be informed, be prepared.

Some links that provide local information about preparing for floods including:
The following basic tips regarding getting prepared are from Council's free Disaster Education Guide, which is available for download from their website, or printed copies are available from Council offices and libraries.

Three easy steps to plan for emergencies

1. Before a flood:
  • Identify which roads and causeways are likely to flood and plan an alternative access route if necessary. These roads can usually be identified by looking for flood level markers.
  • If your property is likely to be isolated in a flood, stock up on extra non- perishable supplies including bottled water and ensure your emergency kit is up to date.
  • Identify when and where you would evacuate to if required.
  • Ensure your insurance covers flood damage.

2. During a flood warning:
  • Listen to your local radio station for flood updates.
  • If it’s flooded, forget it. Don’t walk, ride or drive through flood waters.
  • Turn off water, power and gas supplies.
  • Raise furniture, valuables and electrical items onto higher floors, beds, tables or roof spaces.
  • Sand bag entry points to your property. Put a sand bag inside toilets and on top of indoor drains to prevent sewage back flow.
  • Move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, and chemicals to higher ground.
  • Ensure the safety of pets, children, elderly and those with special needs.

3. After a flood:
  • Don’t wade or drive into remnant flood waters.
  • Don’t re-enter your home until it is declared safe.
  • Don’t use gas or electrical appliances until they are checked for safety.
  • Don’t eat food that has been in flood water.
  • Boil tap water until water supplies are declared safe.
  • Contact your local SES on 132 500 for assistance
Phone 000 immediately if someone is caught in flood waters

More information?
For help and further information visit Council’s
disaster management website:
www.goldcoastcity.com.au/disaster then follow the links to Floods.