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The Northern Australian Monsoon 2020 - 2021.


greysrigging

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The severe weather advice has been extended West tonight and now includes Katherine and Timber Creek.
The advice details all the issues but if you are in these areas please take care.
Nice and quiet in the Darwin area now after a fairly wild afternoon.
Enjoy the few hours of “dry” weather as further showers are heading north from the southern Daly region.
Maybe a bit like early this morning with a squally line of showers sneaking in during the early hours.|
As it turned out I measured 80mm in the gauge this morning. 

 

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I've recorded 940mm ( 37"  ) since the 1st of January.
 

Ok, another obscure stat I've just pondered.....how often has the Darwin Airport exceeded 1000mm in the first two months of a calendar year ( so Jan and Feb ) ?
So the mean ( av ) is 801.5mm and the median is 777.0mm. In 80 years of records, this has happened 20 times, so on 20 occasions, come the end of Feb, people have been saying, "Jeez, she's been a bloody good 'wet' so far.....
Here's the years and totals.....
1962 - 1035.8mm
1967 - 1075.8mm
1968 - 1221.0mm
1969 - 1188.6mm
1974 - 1116.9mm
1980 - 1055.4mm
1981 - 1120.0mm
1984 - 1004.8mm
1991 - 1500.4mm
1995 - 1189.4mm
1997 - 1074.0mm
1998 - 1186.4mm
2000 - 1108.6mm
2003 - 1193.4mm
2004 - 1011.2mm
2008 - 1185.2mm
2010 - 1059.0mm
2011 - 1737.4mm
2017 - 1095.4mm
2018 - 1257.2mm
2021 - 814 8mm to 9/2.....would expect to say, "Jeez, its been a bloody good wet....."
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  • 3 weeks later...

Gotta love the old 'monsoonal break' periods in Darwin.... she's pretty ordinary outdoors along the Top End coasts atm !

 

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The northern monsoon is trying to get down here. A tropical disturbance up near Karratha is funnelling in tropical moisture down the west coast and into the Great Southern. We've got thunderstorms in the SW corner of the state today and have had for a few days. Northam just inland from Perth had flash flooding. Lastnight the RH never dropped below 90% and the min was 18.7C which doesn't sound warm compared to the tropics but it was equal to the warmest night we had all summer. I'm expecting a light show this arvo when the lot comes down heading for the south coast and off into the Antarctic oblivion to the south.

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Is the monsoon only confined to Northern Australia like Darwin and Cairns? Or does it also extend farther south to places like Brisbane, Coff's Harbour, Sydney, etc?

 

Edited by AnTonY
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Mostly confined north of the Tropic of Capricorn, although some years monsoonal influenced troughs come down from the north to the southern states

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A graph of heat extremes at Alice Springs Airport since 1942| ( from one of our local FB weather sites )
For those interested in our changing climate in the NT, here’s a plot of annual very hot days at Alice Springs Airport 1942-2020 (BOM data). If current trends continue we can expect to crack a record 70 days ≥40°C by 2030 and maybe even 100 days by 2050. Hard to imagine this won’t have all sorts of impacts on our lifestyle and unique plants and animals.
158906128_3567916269997054_6610953849704348006_o.jpg.705f0a8f5410baee52a651e4c3675b8e.jpg
I had a bit of a look for Darwin using 35c ( 95f ) as the 'hot' days
 

I have had a similar look at +35c days at Darwin Airport since 1942. My tech nouse precludes me from making a graph, but here are the raw figures by the decade
!941 - 1949 = 54 +35c days. ( some incomplete data )
1950 - 1959 = 81 +35c days
1960 - 1969 = 78 +35c days
1970 - 1979 = 111 +35c days
1980 - 1980 = 82 +35c days
1990 - 1999 = 95 +35c days
2000 - 2009 = 190 +35c days
2010 - 2019 = 223 +35c days
And there were 42 +35c days in 2020......
Raw data.... no adjustments, no fiddling the books whatever that means....( sigh )
To my untrained eye, there is a trend in the Alice and Darwin.


 

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Another stat.....despite being a very good 'Wet' this season, we are going through a lean patch atm re rainfall...
I posted these states on our local weather FB page....
 

"OK, as most of youse know, I can drag up little known weather record snippits pertaining mostly to the Airport Site ( records back to 1941 or thereabouts.
So the Airport and Northern Suburbs are going through a bit of a lean spell this first 10 days ( well, 9 days, but 10 is a nice round figure that suits my OCD )
Providing no rain falls in the Airport and Leanyer gauges before 9.00am tomorrow morning.....
Airport - 6.6mm
Leanyer - 5.0mm
This will be the driest first 10 days of March since records began at the Airport in 1941 and at Leanyer since records began in 1990.
Notes/- Airport had 221.2mm first 10 days March 2020....sigh !
Garden sprinklers have had the cobwebs well and truely blown out allready this month, with my home gauge totalling 4.7mm since the 26/2 !"
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Not happy about this. The monsoon break seems to be turning into a monsoon end. Can't say it's over until the end of April, but all the same, doesn't look good. I could end up below average annual rainfall.:(

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2 hours ago, tropicbreeze said:

Not happy about this. The monsoon break seems to be turning into a monsoon end. Can't say it's over until the end of April, but all the same, doesn't look good. I could end up below average annual rainfall.:(

We started off with a bang and seem to be going out with a whimper...
Airport 'Wet' to date..... 1542.4mm ( 1st Oct - 12th March )
Leanyer 'Wet' to date.....1729.2mm ( 1st Oct - 12th March )
Some Palmerston and Howard Springs areas have had 2500mm up to date !

Edited by greysrigging
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In its weekly tropical climate note BOM made the following comment:

The Bureau's seasonal rainfall outlook indicates an increased likelihood of above average rainfall across northern Australia in the second part of March and in April, to end the northern wet season.

So I haven't actually given up hope of above average rain. Just hope the cyclones keep away.

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I've done a lot of flights over that country, mainly by chopper but also several fixed-wing. The some of the coastal areas are quite spectacular as well.

The first image looks familiar but can't quite place it. The next two are Twin Falls. The fourth is Namarrgon Djadjam (Lightning Dreaming). The last is Barrk Malam (Jim Jim Falls).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Australia is simply a unique and incredibly beautiful land! You Aussies are extremely lucky!

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What you look for is what is looking

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Monsoon To Return
( source: Weatherzone )

The likely last monsoon trough for the season should move over far northern Australia late this week, bringing widespread rain and storms and an increased chance of tropical cyclones.

It's hardly been dry over many tropical areas in recent weeks, most notably the Kimberley and northeast Queensland around Cairns, but this stormy rain has been caused by weather patterns other than the monsoon.

For the Kimberley, it was a long-lasting low pressure trough that extended all the way to NSW at times; parts of the Kimberley saw totals between mid-March and last weekend to rival those of eastern NSW over the same period. For Queensland, it has been persistent onshore winds, driving moisture up and over the Tablelands, that forms cloud that then drops rain.

While storms and rain can and do develop during monsoon 'break periods', an 'active period', like expected this week, is characterised by deep northwesterly winds over a wide area that drag moisture southwards from the equator. This moisture is then deposited as widespread rain.
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The proximity of the monsoon trough's circulating winds and enhanced instability also hugely increases the chance of tropical cyclone development.

A monsoon trough is expected to be near the northern Australian coast from Friday or Saturday this week and the most likely area to be affected by this particular monsoon period is the Top End of the Northern Territory. Indications of a tropical Cyclone near the Top End over the Easter weekend are increasing.

Some areas of the Top End are likely to pick up three figure rainfall totals to cap off a wet season that already ranks in the wettest 10% of all recorded seasons.

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My March total is 83% of average, and the wet season is running at 116% of average. Regardless of how much extra rain (or not) we get up to the end of the wet, it will be at least an average year. But there has been a dramatic increase in Darwin's water supply this season, getting back close to normal.

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2 tropical circulations in the Indian Ocean off the NW coast of WA at the moment. One a declared cyclone and the other not quite. According to the ewmcf they will eventually join up and come across the wa coast near Geraldton in about a week BUT of course it’s way too early to say that will happen with any certainty yet.

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Well both tropical disturbances did form. One was TC Seroja which caused massive flooding and landslides in Timor Leste the other was a short lived TC called Odette. Both brought tropical moisture a long way south and TC Seroja crossed the west coast at Kalbarri and destroyed 70% of the town with 170kmh winds.

In the last couple of days I got 52mm of rain down here. We’ve already exceeded our April average of 74mm and we were ahead for the year at the beginning of April. That may be the last monsoonal influence for us this far south this year I reckon. 

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tyrone said:

Well both tropical disturbances did form. One was TC Seroja which caused massive flooding and landslides in Timor Leste the other was a short lived TC called Odette. Both brought tropical moisture a long way south and TC Seroja crossed the west coast at Kalbarri and destroyed 70% of the town with 170kmh winds.

In the last couple of days I got 52mm of rain down here. We’ve already exceeded our April average of 74mm and we were ahead for the year at the beginning of April. That may be the last monsoonal influence for us this far south this year I reckon. 

I have fond memories of Kalbarri, camping on the beach and travelling inland along the Murchison river to fish and see the rock formations. It's one of my favourite places in WA. This is the first news I have heard about them getting a direct hit by a cyclone. My family in Perth haven't said anything about the storm and it's sad to hear of the destruction. 70% of buildings destroyed is terrible. How did Geraldton fair? Did they manage to escape it? Both places are windy as hell at the best of times, so no wonder the wind speed went up to 170kmh. 

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Dry-summer Oceanic / Warm summer Med (Csb) - 9a

Average annual precipitation - 18.7 inches : Average annual sunshine hours - 1725

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3 hours ago, UK_Palms said:

I have fond memories of Kalbarri, camping on the beach and travelling inland along the Murchison river to fish and see the rock formations. It's one of my favourite places in WA. This is the first news I have heard about them getting a direct hit by a cyclone. My family in Perth haven't said anything about the storm and it's sad to hear of the destruction. 70% of buildings destroyed is terrible. How did Geraldton fair? Did they manage to escape it? Both places are windy as hell at the best of times, so no wonder the wind speed went up to 170kmh. 

Kalbarri was the worst hit and as far as I know it will take a while to get power back on. They also have no phone coverage or internet, no TV etc. They are pretty much isolated. Northampton (inland from the coast) also copped it real bad and they were the last to come off red alert although I haven't seen much on the news about it. Kalbarri got the highest wind gusts but didn't get the eye which was still just out to sea. Port Gregory to the south likely got the eye of the storm, but again there is no information. Geraldton did get damaged a bit but their peak wind gusts were close to 120kmh not 170kmh. According to those who took shelter in their boats (yes in their boats) in Kalbarri tell how at first it looked like they were riding it out well, then within the space of 20 minutes the storm surge rose around 5m and all hell broke loose. Probably because once the tide rose the swell could come full throttle over the reef and into the estuary. A couple of boats ended up physically on the wharf, with one guy reportedly waiting for another wave to drive the boat off the wharf again. Another guy ended up on the wharf but ended with a big hole in the boat. Not a nice Sunday evening at all.

None of the houses in Kalbarri are built to a cyclone code. The same for surrounding towns such as Geraldton. I believe Denham further north is built to cyclone code and the caravan park has chain blocks to hold caravans down when the cyclones hit there. I reckon any new buildings from Kalbarri to probably Lancelin may require cyclone coding after this. Lancelin just north of Perth was in the red alert zone with this one.

The Carnarvon one mile jetty got pretty much obliterated by the cyclone as well. It was closed to the public in 2017 being considered unsafe and requiring 45 million dollars worth of repairs, but now it will need $450 million dollars worth of repairs. I doubt it will be rebuilt now.

I read somewhere online that the BOM couldn't find a cyclone crossing the coast as far south as Kalbarri before. However I had a look at their website going back to the 1960's and the coastline even down near me has had near misses and land falls from cyclones in the past. It's just we haven't seen too many in the last 30 or 40 years so people become complacent and think cyclones don't ever come south of Exmouth or Onslow when they actually do.

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Article about the cyclone. It’s estimated it may take 2 years to rebuild.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-14/kalbarri-residents-face-long-rebuild-wait-after-cyclone-seroja/100066704

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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And, going by the forecast for the next 7 days in Darwin, thats the end of the 2020-2021 Wet Season !
U0hOPzK.jpg

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Looks like the wet season it trying for a last hurrah. Rainfall for April is about 11% of average so if anything comes of this it won't make much difference as far as the wet season goes.

Weather-210427.jpg.c0cf176130b0decde5f652ff2d74a567.jpg

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16 minutes ago, tropicbreeze said:

Looks like the wet season it trying for a last hurrah. Rainfall for April is about 11% of average so if anything comes of this it won't make much difference as far as the wet season goes.

Weather-210427.jpg.c0cf176130b0decde5f652ff2d74a567.jpg

I’d say the wet is pretty much over for you by Thursday. Our cool weather starts to kick in on Friday as well. The nights get dark very quickly now. By about 5.20pm the sun has descended below the tree line here. No time to do anything after work now. 

Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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The last hurrah of the 2020-2021 'Wet' .
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I scored 4mm from yesterday's storms, might get some more this afternoon, then that'll be it with a surge of dry air expected on Thursday.

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9mm from yesterday's storms here at home. The Airport had a downpour of 16mm in 15 mins and 27mm in half an hour.
( pics from Pilkos Chat on Weather FB Page )
 

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Preliminary figures for the Leanyer BOM rain guage 2020-2021 Wet Season ( still a day to go in April of course )

Mean - Median - 2020-2021

Oct - 68.6, 65.0, 147.4

Nov - 120.6, 109.6, 118.8

Dec - 295.2, 243.9, 377.8

Jan - 447.8, 452.0, 691.0

Feb - 380.0, 346.6, 375.0

Mar - 324.8, 294.4, 120.6

Apr - 101.6, 77.2, 102.6

Totals - Mean Average - 1738.6mm

Totals - Median - 1588.7mm

Totals - 2020-2021 - 1933.2mm.

So a definite 'pass' mark, being nearly 200mm above average and 350mm odd above the median. One can't but help being a little disappointed with the March totals in the Northern Suburbs, and even April, although average, promised so much but failed to deliver.

There are possibly umpteen meteorological reasons for this, but my take on it is that once the monsoon buggered off in Feb, the patterns reverted to 'build up' like conditions of convectional afternoon showers and storms, Gulf lines from the East etc, patterns that historically do not favour the Northern Suburbs, hence the 'Dome' theory so unbeloved of Northern Suburbanites kicked in and our 'Wet' went out with a whimper, despite the bangs of the last two nights.

But, yes indeed, happy to take a season 200mm above average, and way way better than the two previous seasons !

2019 -2020 = 1138.2mm

2018 -2019 = 1110.0mm

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1 hour ago, greysrigging said:

Preliminary figures for the Leanyer BOM rain guage 2020-2021 Wet Season ( still a day to go in April of course )

Mean - Median - 2020-2021

Oct - 68.6, 65.0, 147.4

Nov - 120.6, 109.6, 118.8

Dec - 295.2, 243.9, 377.8

Jan - 447.8, 452.0, 691.0

Feb - 380.0, 346.6, 375.0

Mar - 324.8, 294.4, 120.6

Apr - 101.6, 77.2, 102.6

Totals - Mean Average - 1738.6mm

Totals - Median - 1588.7mm

Totals - 2020-2021 - 1933.2mm.

So a definite 'pass' mark, being nearly 200mm above average and 350mm odd above the median. One can't but help being a little disappointed with the March totals in the Northern Suburbs, and even April, although average, promised so much but failed to deliver.

There are possibly umpteen meteorological reasons for this, but my take on it is that once the monsoon buggered off in Feb, the patterns reverted to 'build up' like conditions of convectional afternoon showers and storms, Gulf lines from the East etc, patterns that historically do not favour the Northern Suburbs, hence the 'Dome' theory so unbeloved of Northern Suburbanites kicked in and our 'Wet' went out with a whimper, despite the bangs of the last two nights.

But, yes indeed, happy to take a season 200mm above average, and way way better than the two previous seasons !

2019 -2020 = 1138.2mm

2018 -2019 = 1110.0mm

I think a lot of the tropical monsoon energy (for want of a better expression) moved away from you in late February and March and seemed to shift west. We had more summer weather in March than we did in any month of actual summer. Even April was great, with even a TC coming down the coast (not good for Kalbarri, Geraldton, Northampton). We've had great rain this growing season. Almost double last year to this time.

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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Darwin Airport 2020-2021 Wet Oct-April

Total = 1857.8mm

Mean = 1678.4mm

Median = 1548.7mm.

As with the Northern Suburbs, started well early, but the Monsoonal stuff buggered off in Feb, so finished with a whimper. That 35mm the other day saved April somewhat.

A pass mark, 180mm above average, particularly given the last two seasons.

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On 3/27/2021 at 5:29 AM, greysrigging said:

Well, the storm died in the arse, but it looked spectacular !
 

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7 hours ago, greysrigging said:

Darwin Airport 2020-2021 Wet Oct-April

Total = 1857.8mm

Mean = 1678.4mm

Median = 1548.7mm.

As with the Northern Suburbs, started well early, but the Monsoonal stuff buggered off in Feb, so finished with a whimper. That 35mm the other day saved April somewhat.

A pass mark, 180mm above average, particularly given the last two seasons.

 

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It's literally a wet dream when you see epic towering cloud backdrops, backlit against the sunset, with deep and lush tropical vegetation.

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