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8 March, 2022

Wet season delivers

ATHERTON has won the rainfall stakes for the past three months, with a whopping 787mm of rain during that period, mostly from thunderstorms which have been regular occurrences since November.


A thunderstorm hovers over Mareeba on Tuesday afternoon. PICTURE: FIONA HINE

In contrast, Mareeba has had 556mm from December to the end of February, which is around the average rainfall during that quarter. 

Most of the rain for Mareeba fell in December (169mm) and January (278mm), with the February total of 109mm – way below the average for that month of 250mm. 

Atherton residents will now understand why they have been mowing the lawn a lot more in the past three months, with 81 per cent of the 787mm of rain falling in December and January. 

February, which is considered traditionally as the wettest month, was a lot drier than usual, with only 145mm recorded in Atherton. 

The Bureau of Meteorology does not have a weather station at Atherton so figures for the capital of the southern Tablelands have to be sourced through Atherton Live Weather which has a well-followed Facebook page. 

The bureau’s Walkamin weather station recorded nearly 700mm for the three months to the end of February, which is around 100mm more than the average. 

Both Atherton and Walkamin easily surpassed Cairns’ total rainfall of 619mm for that period.

The weather bureau is predicting a drier than normal March, with around 150mm expected to fall this month. 

The bureau's Autumn Climate Outlook for 2022 was released last week, predicting above-average autumn rainfall for most areas of Australia, except the south-west and north-east. 

While La Niña has led to increased rain in eastern Australia, observations and climate models suggest it is likely at or past its peak and expected to end in mid-autumn 2022. 

Autumn days are likely to be warmer than normal for much of the northern half of Australia.

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