Record wet set to ease

IT was a spring of contrasts for Tasmania with record-breaking rainfall in some areas while for others the last three months have been drier than average.

Parts of Tasmania’s East and North experienced some of their highest daily rainfall on record which led to widespread flooding.

Floods in northern Tasmania in October were the most significant in the region since June 2016.

In contrast, rainfall was below average for the South-West of the state. The Bureau of Meteorology says daytime and night temperatures were generally near or slightly warmer than average.

For the state as a whole, the total spring rainfall was 423.4mm, 19.4 per cent above the 1961-1990 average.

September rainfall was in the lowest 10 per cent recorded for that month for a large area of the West, while most of the East Coast district had rainfall in the highest 10 per cent of records.

Rainfall in October was more than double the monthly average across most of northern and eastern Tasmania, but below average in the South-West.

In November, northern and eastern Tasmania had much higher than average rainfall, while the South-West had close to the monthly average.

Heavy rain in October and November caused repeated flooding, particularly in the North and East.

Major flood warnings were issued for the Mersey, Meander, Macquarie, Ouse and North Esk Rivers with moderate flood warnings for the South Esk and Jordan and minor warnings for the Huon.

The wettest location was Gray with 924.2mm for the season.

The wettest day was at Mount Barrow when 188.8mm fell on October 14.

Many sites had their highest spring daily rainfall and also their highest total spring rainfall.

On October 14, 108.2mm fell at Lilydale beating the previous October daily record of 81mm recorded in 1992.

On the same day, Lorinna had 101mm, beating its previous record of 85.9mm set in September 1930, while Nunamara had 156mm, above the previous daily October record of 66.2mm in 2008 and the Sheffield School Farm copped 112mm, beating the record of 76.5mm set in 1998.

Total spring rainfall records also tumbled. Bream Creek saw 367.4mm fall, beating the previous record of 355.9mm set in 1975.

Golden Valley also had a very wet spring with 459.2mm, well above the previous record of 381.2mm set in 1998.

In welcome news for farmers, BOM senior climatologist Jonathan Pollock said the combination of three major climate drivers that produced the extremely wet conditions were now easing.

Mr Pollock said the combination of the La Nina, a positive Southern Annular Mode and a negative Indian Ocean Dipole were responsible for producing the above-average rainfall in the state’s North and East, while bringing less rainfall to the West and South-West.

“It has changed recently,” Mr Pollock said.

He said while there was the chance of above-average falls in parts of the East, the western outlook was more neutral with La Nina forecast to end in January or February next year.

Spring temperatures were close to average statewide.

The mean temperature was 0.09C above the 1961-1990 average with the mean maximum and minimum 0.14C and 0.04C above average respectively and lower than average in November.

The hottest day was at Scotts Peak Dam on November 9 when it reached 30.4C