It’s still raining…..

26 01 2013

No actually, it isn’t still raining…..  it stopped raining yesterday; today it’s pissing down…! The driven rain is incessant, the wind’s kept me awake nearly all night, and the news on the internet this morning are not good….  it’s going to get worse..Image

This ex-cyclone Oswald might as well be the real thing.  We’ve had tornadoes up North (TORNADOES…??  This is Australia for Pete’s sake, not Kansas…) and more are predicted for this area though I expect they will be confined to the coast like they were in Bundaberg, where one of my nieces happens to live….  I hope she and her daughter are OK.

Near Gladstone in central Queensland, 400 homes have been evacuated ahead of unprecedented flooding in the area.

There has been tornado activity in the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg regions today, after at least five tornadoes caused widespread destruction in the Wide Bay yesterday.

More tornadoes are expected south to the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane today.

A storm surge is also threatening to cause flooding in the Moreton Bay region.

Some of these places have reportedly received over 1000mm of rain in 48 hours!  That’s the entire year’s worth in most places…..  and if you’re not metric, it’s three feet….

The ground here has gone from tortured and cracked to quagmire, in just four days.  Go outside now, and an inch of water is flowing down the hill on top of the dead grass.  Six Mile Creek, the one that cuts us off from civilisation in a big wet, is fast approaching the moderate flooding level, and it’s only a matter of a couple of hours before we’re flooded in.  I’m not exactly sure if the ducks are enjoying this weather, but at least they seem to be coping.  The chooks are hiding.  At least it’s reassuring to have the AGA lit again, perfect weather for it, and it keeps the water hot, which is just as well because let me tell you, it is so dark, the panels are flat out running at 5% of capacity in the middle of the day.  I’ve never seen it this dark in daylight hours….  and the power is constantly going on and off, thank goodness for the backup batteries.  It’s moments like these I really wish I also had a wind turbine, because whilst one would not be of much use most of the time, right now it could completely replace the solar energy we are not getting.

Never in a million years would I have thought the ground could regain full saturation and then runoff capacity this fast after basically 6 months of no rain at all….

Just back from a quick drive “downtown” to get a loaf of bread and a litre of milk…  it’s normally a 2km joyride, but today the main road’s cut, and a tree was across the detour, which a couple of other residents and I moved so we could all get on with whatever it is we were doing.  Further down the road, a fire truck was parked across a side street because a large tree had fallen over power lines which were strewn all over the road.  The local shop was crowded with more people stocking up (some buying ice, obviously expecting power cuts).  Our little bridge down the road is just starting to get submerged, we won’t be out of here for a few days I’d hazard to say….

Just measured another 195mm from the rain gauge in under 24 hours for a grand total of 377mm since the rain started a few days ago… and we could easily get that much again because Oswald is not exactly moving fast…

Now, to those people who still deny climate change….  which part of EXTREME WEATHER don’t you understand?

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5 responses

26 01 2013
gbell12

“Now, to those people who still deny climate change…. which part of EXTREME WEATHER don’t you understand?”

I’m not married to any side of this issue, because I find it too confusing and technical to be able to take sides without a climatology degree. But, a researcher on the firm denier side of the fence just sent me this.

Hurricanes have not increased in the past few decades:
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL047711.shtml

Nor have droughts:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7424/full/nature11575.html

This, despite all the predictions of lots more of both by now.

27 01 2013
Serge

305mm in 23 hours (emptied the rain gauge at 8:00 instead of 9:00 before it overflowed. That’s on top of 103 & 61mm since it started raining on Thurs.
Got a few hens missing, probably hiding under the devastation in their pen. My lady finger bananas are obliterated, most are toppled over, some are broken half way up (there was 23 bunches set and about 3 times as many plants all up in the chook pen). The taller ones were tall enough to reach the fence so when they fell they took the 1800mm chicken wire fence with them. The sheets of water have so much debris in them that they have brought the goat fencing down in 2 places.
Dam overflows aren’t keeping up, so water is running over the walls. If this keep up much longer at this intensity it’ll gouge them to critical failure.
Maybe I should take up drinking more seriously, it would help in situation like this.

Serge.

27 01 2013
mikestasse

Hurricanes and droughts have always been around and of themselves are not “extreme weather events”. However, MY definition of “extreme” is when two occur, one straight after the other….. especially when the drought is the worst in living memory, and the jury’s still out with this flood, but it certainly has all the potential of being Cooran’s worst flood ever, because we are barely half way through this rain event and the flood gauges are rising awfully fast already…. I’m not a qualified scientist, but my son is. He has two science degrees and he’s finishing his Masters in Medical Physics this year.

He tells me they did not specifically study GW, but it got lots of airplay at Uni because that’s what Physicists do…. and what Alex tells me is that it’s all about energy. Trap more energy (heat) under the blanket of greenhouse gases (yes, INCLUDING water vapour) and the biosphere becomes more “excited”. Each molecule may be only very slightly more excited, but when you have as many molecules as exist in the biosphere, they all add up. To LOTS of extra potential energy. This energy is moved around the planet by wind and ocean currents. So some may be removed from Northern Hemisphere Winters (causing cold snaps) to here, causing the record breaking heat wave we have just experienced in Australia. This Cyclone Oswald was not a particularly bad one when it started in the Gulf of Carpentaria, 2000 km away… that it even GOT HERE is to me an extreme weather event…. that it is still picking up this much moisture off the Pacific is a clear indication the ocean is still very warm, especially in a La Nina….

How far will this low go? It’s showing no signs of weakening, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sydney copped the tail end of it…. and THAT would be a first too.

27 01 2013
gbell12

>it’s all about energy. Trap more energy (heat) under the blanket of
>greenhouse gases (yes, INCLUDING water vapour) and the
>biosphere becomes more “excited”.

Yes, that’s the theory. And the prediction is that, in total, storms will have more energy (wind over time). If you look at the reference, you’ll see what this scientist has done is quantify the energy in storms, and has found no increase in storm energy.

In short, an important prediction has not come true, throwing into doubt the theory.

28 01 2013
mikestasse

Total rainfall sine the drought was broken on Thursday now stands at 565.5mm… that’s four days worth!

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