I was told by a reader about a loss of ~18mm rain recorded at Montague Island Lighthouse 69017 (NSW south coast near Narooma) on 6/7th April 2013. I checked this out and sure enough the 30 minute data shows 20.6mm at 2.30am on the 7th which at 3am is reset to 2.2mm – so 18.4mm of rain was lost in what must have been an electrical/electronic fault. I kept the www page of 30 minute data.
I sent the following fax to BoM Sydney on 9 May 2013 and never got a reply.
[MONTAGUE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE ID: 069017 Rainfall 7 April 2013
Your webpage “Latest Weather Observations for Montague Island”
records around 18.8mm rain ~10.30am to 11am on Saturday 6th April.
There was another 1.6mm recorded ~9.30-10pm that evening making 20.4mm.
A further 0.2mm made the total 20.6mm around midnight.
Then at 3am on the 7th the rain total reset to 2.2mm which was the 9am total recorded.
You can check the Canberra radar archive at –
and there were rain signatures at “~10.30am to 11am on Saturday 6th April” and
“~9.30-10pm that evening”.
So perhaps your Montague Island telemetry has lost 18.4mm of rain in the signal somewhere.
All the best,]
Checking daily rain for station 069017 at Climate Data Online we see that 2.2mm is recorded for the 7th April 2013 –
What would it take to get the BoM to correct an error ?
Western Queensland community turns out for drought forum in Longreach
The chart shows there have been worse droughts in the 120 odd years of rain history at Longreach. So why would anybody be surprised at recent low rainfall?
You can make droughts maps for various periods out to three years at the BoM.
Rummaging through some ancient boxes I found this 1985 stamp which I had never noticed – carrying the slogan “Water is Precious”.
A slogan unworthy of a rational Govt – a slogan that has assisted to take us on the policy road where dams have been forbidden and $Billions have been wasted on unnecessary seawater desalination factories – mostly now in mothballs and we have to put up with a constant Green inspired push for inflated water prices. Reality is water is a common compound and falls free from the sky in huge quantities if you have the brains to store it. Cheap clean water from municipal supplies piped to homes has been an important contributor to increased life expectancy over the last 150 years. If we allow Green policies to interfere with this we risk turning the clock back healthwise.
Fairfax are running this story Brisbane weather: Wettest May day in 175 years
The claim that 182.6mm on the 2nd May represents the “Wettest May day in 175 years” is not even technically clean because many early years had no data – so the 175 years is shonky. But let’s ignore that. Facts are that rain data are so noisy that any claims based on one station need examining. In this case on 2nd May 2015 for the BoM’s own rain district 40 South Coast Moreton & Brisbane.
These stations exceeded the 182.6mm figure. I have tried to avoid the higher altitude stations which have heavier falls.
ALDERLEY (040224) 252.4mm
BEERBURRUM FOREST STATION (040284) 233.2mm
BOONDALL (040531) 213.6mm
CALAMVALE ALERT (040784) 186mm
DECEPTION BAY ALERT (040980) 278mm
HILLTOP GARDENS (040911) 209mm
MORAYFIELD ALERT (040979) 296mm
PEACHESTER (040169) 269mm
TOMEWIN TALLOWOOD (040899) 187.4mm
WATERFORD ALERT (040878) 193mm
Let’s look at a four day period 2nd to 5th May 1996 – there may be others but my time is limited –
I think by any standards the 2nd to 5th May 1996 swamps any record claimed from 2nd May 2015. Count some of the 4 day totals.
More likely a once in two years event. Queensland storm: Five dead in storm called ‘one-in-2000-year event’
I saw this headline – Thats why our homes flooded
Queensland storm: Residents of Deception Bay claim Moreton Bay Rail Link works contributed to homes being flooded
Interesting to read the comments in both articles – most seen realistic.
I was surprised to see on TV news video of quite modern houses built along what became a raging watercourse. Looks like Qld town planners need to learn basics about flood prone areas.
Fairfax media reports – Brisbane weather: ‘An extreme weather event’ takes five lives – The ABC reports – Queensland weather: Five people killed after three cars swept away by floodwaters; storm moves into northern NSW –
A BoM contour map shows the rainfall to 9am on 2nd May – this map is for 20 May 2009 – note the higher rain contouring into the purple zone.
The 7th, 8th and 9th of May 1980 had heavy rain in the Brisbane region too. Note I have only scanned for May rain – there would be many more floods if I looked at all months.
I have not yet seen numbers convincing me that the last couple of days was worse than 2009 – and daily data is very poor for the earlier in the 20th Century.
There are many more rain gauges now but data is not easy to access. This AWN site is useful for eyeballing daily rain at the many Brisbane region stations. Here are the rain maps from above BoM links to compare for yourself –
Purple is above 200mm per day
Dark blue is 150-200
Light blue 100-150.
Obviously the station data is more spotty than the contour maps – and BoM computing has to somehow average to get the contour positions.
The ABC reports – Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest calls for harvesting of rivers, underground aquifers to droughtproof agricultural areas. They report – “Mr Forrest wants to droughtproof Australia.” It reads to me like a push to exploit water resources in the north of Australia and I am sure more could be done along those lines. The coalition was talking about using northern water resources in early 2013 – that seems to have sunk lately.
Good luck to Mr Forrest pushing his ideas but we are light years from achieving sensible water reforms. The Murray Darling Basin plan still proposes to waste huge amounts of water to flush the Murray mouth, pandering to South Australia.
Just look at the waste of Melbourne water supply Thomson Dam water by environmental flows – 35% through the dryer years 2002-2009. Any proposal in the north will meet trenchant opposition from several well known quarters. I doubt any serious projects could get up with our MSM so GreenLeft.
I just hope people in power are listening to the farmers who want an end to the green nonsense of pushing for more water to be wasted down to the sea.
Farmers warn Murray Darling Basin Plan needs to end, but scientists say signs of river system recovery on display
Abolishing the Murray Darling Basin Commission would be a plus.