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500% more rain over a million square kilometers – Wettest September across Eastern Australia in 116 years

It is not surprising there are floods all over the East coast at the moment

September brought 500% of normal rain to 2 million square kilometers of Eastern and Northern Australia. There are floods across the South East.  There are flood alerts in South Australia, floods have been washing through NSW (and some of those floods were caused by a dam release). There are floods in Tasmania. Flood watches are active in Victoria. Spare a thought for farmers who are taking big losses from both frost and flood in Australia. (So much for endless droughts, and early springs. Hello, Tim Flannery.) Heavy snow  has also fallen — 25cm in Threadbo (it so late in the season, some ski lifts have stopped operating). Right now, thousands of people still don’t have power in South Australia, while others are being rescued from floods across SA and NSW. Floods have stranded 181 families for month on islands in the middle of NSW.

h/t to Warwick Hughes, and Lance Pidgeon

A large part of the scary purple area got only 100-200mm of rain in a month (4-8 inches). It’s just very unusual in these dry areas.

To give you some idea, it has been the wettest September on record for Eastern Australia, coming on top of a one of our wettest two winters. Variability is the norm.

Flood news — The Australian

Two swift-water rescues were carried out overnight, a South Australia SES state duty manager told AAP, and he reinforced the message to all residents not to drive through flood waters under any circumstances.

Some of the worst-hit areas were the Clare Valley, north of Adelaide, where the town of Sevenhill was under threat with concerns a nearby dam would burst, and Langhorne Creek, south of Adelaide, which was cut off by rising floodwaters late on Thursday.

Major flooding warnings are current for Condoblin and Euabalong and the current flood peak at Forbes will progress downstream over the next two weeks causing further river rises.

At least 50,000 sandbags have been transported into the towns from Maitland in the Hunter Valley and extra crews have been brought in from around the state.

About 100 properties remain subject to an evacuation order while sittings at courthouses in Forbes, Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo have been cancelled for next week.


The Australian climate — a land of extremes

At the same time as the deluge in the East,  West Australia had a fifth of the normal amount for September across a million square kilometers.  (Bear in mind that in NW WA the rainfall anomally is only 0 – 10 mm down on the normal flow. It doesn’t mean much!) Somewhere an expert is about to release a paper showing how increasing CO2 can cause East-West rainfall disparities (you think I’m kidding, –they would just be mirroring research already done in the US).

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