Despite heavy rain covering most of the region last week, Bowen’s rainfall sat at 12.6mm.
Despite heavy rain covering most of the region last week, Bowen’s rainfall sat at 12.6mm.

Interesting reason behind Bowen’s skewed rainfall stats

IT SEEMS the Bowen Airport automatic weather station has been out of action again, with the same pesky insects causing the problem.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) spokesman confirmed that the organisation had replaced the previous rain gauge on May 25, after a week of heavy rain and a 12.6mm reading brought attention to the issue.

Between the period of May 18 and May 24 heavy rain was recorded throughout the whole Whitsundays region, causing many eagle eyed residents to question such a small rainfall reading.

In January this year a similar situation unfolded and it was revealed that a "technical issue" with the rain gauge was in fact due to ants, and it seems the pesky creatures are back.

For those interested in how much rainfall Bowen saw while the gauge was out of action, the BoM spokesman  confirmed rainfall statistics from surrounding automatic weather stations, for the period of May 18 to May 24.

While the exact figures for Bowen aren't known, neighbouring sites suggest the seven day total could be as high as 100mm.

The Bowen Water Treatment Plant recorded:

Monday, May 18: 17mm

Tuesday, May 19: 14mm

Wednesday May 20: 6mm

Thursday May 21: 8mm

Friday May 22: 7mm

Saturday May 23: 34mm

Sunday May 24: 14mm

The Bowen Pump Station recorded:

Monday May 18: 0mm

Tuesday May 19: 6mm

Wednesday May 20: 0mm

Thursday May 21: 3mm

Friday May 22: 1mm

Saturday May 23: 24mm

Sunday May 24: 18mm

A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology said all automatic weather stations require regular maintenance and after replacing the Bowen Airport AWS, it was now fully operational.

"The Bowen Airport's tipping bucket rain gauge - part of the Automatic Weather Station (AWS) - was replaced on Monday, 25 May," he said.

"The unit was cleaned and checked, and then replaced with a new rain gauge after the discovery of contamination caused by debris and insects.

"All AWSs require regular maintenance and, when assessed as not performing to the instrument's specifications, they are replaced."


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