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Extreme weather events (days with ‘very heavy rainfall’)

Key finding

While days with ‘very heavy rainfall’ are rare in parts of south-western Queensland, they are common along Queensland’s north-eastern seaboard.

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Rainfall weather stations (select locations to filter information)

Queensland

Days with ‘very heavy rainfall’ are classed as days with rainfall totalling at least 30mm.

In arid south-western parts of Queensland, days with very heavy rainfall are quite rare. For example, at Birdsville, there is on average only 1 day a year in this category, and some years have had none (e.g.1933 to 1938).

In contrast, days with very heavy rainfall are relatively common along Queensland’s north-eastern seaboard and in the Gulf, being areas which have greater exposure to rainfall associated with the northern Australian Monsoon and tropical cyclones.

Long-term variability and trends

State-wide and point-location assessments of long-term trends in days with very heavy rainfall are complicated, due to the impact of site changes, incomplete datasets, and a low number of high quality recording sites from which data are available.

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South Mossman

Based on the 1912 to 2010 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 20.

In the year 2000, 39 days with very heavy rainfall were recorded.

Data for 2011 to 2017 is not available.

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Palmerville

Based on the 1900 to 2010 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 10.

In 1913, 26 days with very heavy rainfall were recorded.

Data for most years from 2009 to 2017 is not available.

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Burketown

Based on the 1900 to 2010 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 7.

In the year 2000, there were 20 days with very heavy rainfall.

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Barcaldine

Based on the 1900 to 2010 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 4.

In 1950, 15 days with very heavy rainfall were recorded.

Days with very heavy rainfall were more frequent than the 1900 to 2010 average from 2014 to 2016.

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Birdsville

Based on the 1900 to 2005 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 1.

In 1916, there were 6  days with very heavy rainfall.

Data for most years from 2006 to 2017 is not available.

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Cunnamulla

Based on the 1900 to 2010 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 3.

In 1956, there were 10 days with very heavy rainfall.

The period from 2013 to 2017 had a lower than average frequency of days with very heavy rainfall.

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Fairymead Sugar Mill

Based on the 1910 to 2009 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 9.

In 1950, there were 17 days with very heavy rainfall.

Data from 2010 to 2017 is not available.

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University of Queensland Gatton

Based on the 1900 to 2010 period, the average number of days per year with very heavy rainfall is 6.

The years 1906 and 1967 both recorded  11 days with very heavy rainfall.

2016 had only 2 days with very heavy rainfall, compared to near average frequenices from 2013 to 2015 and in 2017.

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Indicator: Extreme weather events (days with ‘very heavy rainfall’)

Frequency of days with very heavy rainfall, for selected weather stations, compiled based on data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) High-Quality Australian Daily Rainfall Dataset (to 2017) as at February 2018. Subsequent updates to data may result in minor changes to some values. For each location days per year with very heavy rainfall are plotted for the extent of the High-Quality Dataset records, years with more than five days of missing data not being included. Rolling 10-year averages are plotted only if there are 10 consecutive years of annual data.

Download data from Queensland Government data

Last updated 26 October 2018