More rain expected
WHILE the Whitsunday region escaped from the floods that hit southern Queensland in recent weeks, the region experienced heavy rain on Tuesday night and can expect more of the same in the next three months.
Senior meteorologist at the Weather Channel Dick Whittaker said the region had scattered falls of about 100mm from 9am Tuesday to 9am Wednesday.
“That's real tropical wet season stuff,” he said.
“That's a reflection of the current climatic activity we have been experiencing.”
In Cannonvale, a total of 70mm was recorded between 8pm on Tuesday and 8am yesterday with a further 7mm recorded up until 3pm yesterday.
While the region experienced a 60 year record rainfall in November last year, Mr Whittaker said Whitsunday residents could expect rainfall levels to again exceed monthly averages in the coming months.
“The national climate outlook suggests that south-east Queensland, stretching as far north as Airlie Beach, can expect an average to above average rainfall in the months of January, February and March,” he said.
Mr Whittaker said this higher chance of rainfall over the next few months was a result of higher sea surface temperatures around Australia resulting in a La Nina pattern of weather.
So far this month, the Whitsunday Coast Airport at Proserpine has recorded close to 250mm of rain with 297.3mm being the monthly average.
Late last year the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) also predicted an increased chance of cyclones forming off the eastern coast of Australia.
Mr Whittaker said three tropical cyclones had already developed or crossed into Australian waters but none have posed any real threat to the mainland.
He said that with high sea surface temperatures present in the region's surrounding oceans, there was still a strong chance of more cyclone activity in the coming months.