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11 January, 2021

2021 kicks off with a wet week.

For the first week of 2021 the Tablelands and residents across Far North Queensland were battered with rainfall, heavy winds and flash flooding after ex-tropical cyclone Imogen struck the region.

By Phil Brandel

Three year-old Braxton Malfitana who got to jump in puddles thanks to wet the start of 2021.

For the first week of 2021 the Tablelands and residents across Far North Queensland were battered with rainfall, heavy winds and flash flooding after ex-tropical cyclone Imogen struck the region.

Innisfail recorded the heaviest downfalls in the region, with 196mm at Saltwater Creek in the 24 period to 9am Wednesday, January 6.

Cairns recorded 127mm at the racecourse in 24 hours, while Tully Gorge received 118mm.

Looking at the whole week Mareeba had 290.40 mm fall between 9am Friday, January 1 and Friday, January 8. The average amount of rainfall for Mareeba for the whole month of January is normally 209.8 mm, meaning the monthly average rainfall figure was broken in less than one week.  While in the first week of January 2020 Mareeba only received 9.4 mm of rain.

While Atherton received 172 mm for the first week of 2021, in 2020 Atherton received no rain until the 9th day of 2020.

Meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Matt Marshall said the wet start wasn’t too unusual for this time of the year.  

“The averages that we look at go back over 70 years, but there can be a lot of variation in that. It’s not usually to go above and below the averages by a large amount, especially in Far North Queensland where rainfall is very dependent on whether there is a cyclone around or not,” he said

“Those rainfall numbers for the Tablelands for the first week of January are not that unusual considering there was an ex-tropical cyclone moving through.

“Going into this tropical cyclone season we did predict more cyclones due to La Nina.”

Mr Marshall said that being in a La Nina Far North Queensland and the Tablelands can expect more rainfall.

 “The wet weather will continue for the next week, with showers slowing starting to ease,” he said.

“The general trend is for the rainfall to ease for the rest of this week.

“There still could be the odd thunderstorm but it will not be as wet as the first week of 2021.

“The effects of ex-tropical cyclone Imogen will continue to weaken and we are not expecting any more cyclones for the next week or two.”


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