Storm Australian Severe Weather Forum

Severe Weather Discussion => Australian Severe Storms, Weather Events and Storm Chasing => Topic started by: Colin Maitland on 26 December 2010, 12:00:56 PM

Title: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Colin Maitland on 26 December 2010, 12:00:56 PM
It has been a roller coaster of a ride with the GFS and Access runs over the last 4 days or so. But in general they keep throwing large totals up for QLD, SEQ and NE NSW.

As you may be aware a very weak bottom of the scale Cat.1 cyclone named Tasha crossed the North QLD Coast early this morning. (25/12/10) After forming it quickly lost intensity and was downgraded. But EX TC Tasha is moving rather swiftly at 40 km/h and causing a lot of flooding to many areas.

BoM reported:
Recent Events:
Widespread rainfall of 200-300mm between Cairns and Ingham in the 24 hours to
9am Saturday.  Localised heavy falls are being recorded near the coast between
Ingham and Mackay on Saturday afternoon
The latest GFS run is throwing extremely large totals of around 700 mmm for parts of SEQ. I am half expecting and hoping to see some of those totals drop with the next run.

The latest warning from BoM suggest :

Synoptic Situation: At 4:00 pm EST Ex-Tropical Cyclone Tasha had weakened into a
broad rain depression between Georgetown and Charters Towers and was moving
south-southwest at around 30 kilometres per hour. A 1023 hPa high in the
southern Tasman Sea extended a firm ridge onto the Queensland east coast south
of the cyclone.

Heavy rainfall and associated flooding will continue in coastal areas between
Ingham and Gladstone tonight, extending inland to southeastern parts of the
Northern Goldfields and Upper Flinders, and through eastern parts of the Central
Highlands and Coalfields district.

On Sunday this heavy rainfall is forecast to move south between Bowen and Fraser
Island on the east coast and inland through the Central Highlands and Coalfields

Stay safe and alert to those who may be affected,

Title: RE: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Colin Maitland on 27 December 2010, 02:47:14 AM
Still trying to fathom this event out. It is still looking rather on the nasty side with some huge totals and heavy rain forecast over the next few days. All the models are spitting out all sorts of figure and data trying to calculate the upcoming weather event.

BoM have updated their severe weather warning this morning.

for Heavy rainfall
For people about the east coast between Mackay and the NSW border, extending
inland to the Central Highlands and Coalfields, the northeast Maranoa and
Warrego and the northern Darling Downs and Granite Belt districts.

Issued at 4:45 am on Sunday 26 December 2010

Synoptic Situation: At 4:00 am EST Ex-Tropical Cyclone Tasha had weakened into a
broad rain depression northwest of Hughenden and was moving southwest at around
30 kilometres per hour. A 1021 hPa high in the southern Tasman Sea extended a
firm ridge onto the Queensland east coast.

Heavy rainfall is forecast to move south between Mackay and the NSW border on
the east coast and inland through the Central Highlands and Coalfields, the
northeast Maranoa and Warrego and the northern Darling Downs and Granite Belt

Recent Events:
Rainfall of up to 160mm inland from Mackay and 130mm at Rockhampton since 9am
Saturday. Increasing rainfall being observed on radar through the Capricornia
and Wide Bay and Burnett districts.

Title: RE: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Michael Bath on 27 December 2010, 04:55:30 AM
Hi Colin and all,

It's been difficult to determine which areas will cop the heavy falls apart from the northern QLD coast which has already occurred. All the models are tipping significant falls over SEQ and northern parts of NE NSW from this evening and into Tuesday but there's some variation after that with the AU models clearing the rain northwards after Tuesday, whereas GFS keeps it over border areas well into Thursday.

We've already had a flood locally (Wilsons River upstream of Lismore). I measured 80mm to 9am 25th with another 55mm to 9am 26th Dec - though most of that fell in an hour around 2.30 to 3.30pm EDT 25th Dec. There was some decent flash flooding from that. The Wilsons River has exceeded minor flood level in Lismore: 4.91m at 5am today, and the Wilsons at Eltham (below where I live) reached almost 8 metres last night. Many locations in the hills north of me which feed into the streams which end up at Lismore have had over 200mm already. If this area cops some big falls next 2 days there will be major flooding. At this stage I'm not convinced we'll see the very big falls south of the Tweed Valley.

Title: RE: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Michael Bath on 27 December 2010, 06:48:36 AM
A few photos in the Eltham area from yesterday arvo (25th) following a mid afternoon downpour.


The area I live can be seen in the top background:


This guy went in then quickly reversed out:

It's probably 40cm deep in the middle of this:
Title: RE: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Jimmy Deguara on 28 December 2010, 01:39:45 AM
A little bit of a squall line passed through Sydney but not surprisingly it weakened as it passed through Sydney. Here are a couple of pictures (excuse the graininess - my daughter Kimberly left the iso settings at 1600 - ouch!). Also excuse the fact I never did get right on top of the hill - Rooty Hill - let's just say with a man and woman on top, they were making the hill live up to its expectations!





Jimmy Deguara
Title: RE: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: vrondes on 28 December 2010, 02:40:43 AM
The wave shelf did make it to Parramatta Jimmy with some nice curves in the mid levels before blowing over,


put your images through Topaz DeNoise V-5 noise reduction to bring the best out of them,Mike Hollingshead uses it for amazing results,

Cheers, Con.
Title: Re: Possible severe flooding for SEQ and NE NSW from 26 Dec 2010
Post by: Harley Pearman on 28 December 2010, 03:49:15 AM
Thunderstorm photos Batemans Bay and Braidwood 26/12/2010

Late evening Christmas Day, a small thunderstorm cell passed over Batemans Bay producing mainly sheet lightning high up within the cloud. No photos were taken as the lightning was only illuminating the cloud from within. It produced a short sharp rain shower but no significant wind as it passed over.

Sunday a southerly change moved north along the south coast and I drove back to Sydney via Braidwood then Goulburn. Just minutes before the southerly change arrived at Batemans Bay bringing with it low coastal stratiform clouds, a small thunderstorm cell was observed moving off the coast. The first photo looking south from Batemans Bay shows the cloud tower. I did not chase it because I could see the southerly change moving north and if I had gone south, it would have been obscured by low cloud behind the encroaching wind change.

Following that I drove to Braidwood. I observed a second thunderstorm cell building and moving off the coast to the east influenced by the southerly change (Two photos provided). Chasing it back east down Clyde Mountain would have been impractical due to the low cloud the change was bringing with it plus the heavy holiday traffic using the Kings Highway. They were the only two storms that I observed in this region.

I note the photos of the squall line passing through Sydney. That was following me from Goulburn. I spent some time watching and observing it at Goulburn and Marulan but it did not look significant at the time. At times it looked patchy with rain curtains visible of varying intensity. At other times I could see through it toward clear skies beyond. Occasionally, I could make out the southerly change moving north along the coast toward Sydney due to the amount of low cloud being generated.

I did not take any photos of it and I did not observe any lightning at the times when I pulled off the road to view it.

My photos of the storm cells observed are provided below.

Harley Pearman
Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Antonio (stormboy) on 28 December 2010, 05:19:18 AM
wow im from Ballina but currently in Sydney what on earth is happening up there it was on the news!!!

Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Leo76 on 28 December 2010, 09:33:17 AM (


Issued at 3:01 pm EDT on Monday 27 December 2010

Flood Warning Number: 9

Rainfall has increased this afternoon [27/12/10] with up to 60mm falling in the last 6 hours to 3pm today. This has resulting in renewed river rises and local flash flooding in the Richmond and Wilsons Catchments.

The Wilsons River at Lismore is currently at 4.35 metres and rising with minor flooding. Minor flooding is also expected on the Richmond River at Wiangaree and Kyogle later today.

At this stage it is not possible to predict the flood peaks because of uncertainty over how much more rain will fall. Revised predictions will be issued if necessary.y

Wilsons River at Lismore - reach 5.8 metres midnight tonight [27/12/10] with minor flooding.

    * Richmond River at Wiangaree - reach minor flood level (11.0 metres) around 5pm tonight [27/12/10].
    * Richmond River at Kyogle - reach minor flood level (12.0 metres) around 8pm tonight [27/12/10].
    * FloodSafe advice is available at

The next warning will be issued by 6pm Monday [27/12/10].

Latest River Heights:
Location   Height of River   Date/Time of Observation
Richmond R at Wiangaree    7.71m rising   02:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Richmond R at Kyogle    9.65m rising   02:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Richmond R at Casino    5.72m rising   02:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Eden Ck at Doubtful    7.18m rising   02:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Shannon Brook at Yorklea    4.55m rising   02:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Leycester Ck at Rock Valley    5.12m steady   02:10 PM MON 27/12/10
Goolmangar Ck at Nimbin    5.41m rising   02:11 PM MON 27/12/10
Back Ck at Bentley    5.92m rising   12:37 PM MON 27/12/10
Terania Ck at The Channon    4.93m steady   02:10 PM MON 27/12/10
Coopers Ck at Repentance    2.39m rising   02:06 PM MON 27/12/10
Wilsons R at Nashua    3.93m steady   02:12 PM MON 27/12/10
Coopers Ck at Corndale    5.78m rising   02:12 PM MON 27/12/10
Wilsons R at Eltham    6.52m steady   02:11 PM MON 27/12/10
Wilsons R at Woodlawn (mAHD)    4.93m steady   02:10 PM MON 27/12/10
Leycester Ck at Tuncester (mAHD)   4.21m steady   02:12 PM MON 27/12/10
Wilsons R at Lismore (mAHD)    4.15m steady   02:12 PM MON 27/12/10
Richmond R at Coraki    2.84m steady   12:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Myrtle Ck at Rappville    1.85m steady   02:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Richmond R at Bungawalbyn    2.7m steady    12:00 PM MON 27/12/10
Richmond R at Woodburn    2.02m steady   12:00 PM MON 27/12/10

Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Paul D on 28 December 2010, 12:06:22 PM
Rain having eased off at present Sth of Brisbane, the rain over the past 24 hrs looks to have caused one of the more substantial flood events in the Warwick area for the past 30 years.
The Warwick gauge is at 6.99m @4.35pm just under 7m mark (Major flood level) a level not recorded for the past 34 years still a way off the 1976 peak of 9.1m but substantial none the less.
Probably not the best time be traveling on on the Warrego Highway at the moment..

BOM page on Condamine floods at Warwick - (
Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Mathew Townsend on 29 December 2010, 04:39:29 AM
Rain areas eased off yesterday evening to make a beautiful sunset in Ballina!! Now back to isolated showers with SE winds days. So far Ballina have 415mm for December and 2,310mm for the year!
Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Michael Bath on 29 December 2010, 06:04:28 AM
Rainfall figures (24 hours to 9am) for this event (total 250mm):

23/12:  8
24/12:  6
25/12:  81
26/12:  57
27/12:  45
28/12:  53

I took these photos around Eltham and Booyong when it was still raining yesterday afternoon (27th). Many of the local roads become streams due to the poor drainage.





The Wilsons River through the Eltham area peaked at 5.30am today with 8.28m - about 30cm higher than the Christmas Day peak.

The Wilsons River in Lismore is yet to peak.

When we heard the Richmond River was in major flood in the upper catchment (this river starts in the border ranges from east of Woodenbong to northeast of Wiangaree), Jason Paterson and I decided to head over to Kyogle for a look. The peak was expected to be 16.5 metres early AM today.

When we got there about 8.45pm the river was still yet to cut any roads. The main problem area for Kyogle is the Summerland Way on the north side of town.

During the next two hours or so we watched as the river pushed back Fawcetts Creek and inundated parts of the lower end of the CBD. The river was rising at about 30cm every 15 mins while we were there so the change was impressive. It's the first time I've been able to see flooding in Kyogle as normally everything is cut off.

A few photos, Jason will add some more shortly


The water was about 50cm below the top of this bridge when we got to Kyogle.










It was quite a spectacle for locals as well, with many out watching it, and a few getting drunk.

Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Jason(pato) on 29 December 2010, 07:00:32 AM
Gday All,

Here's a few more to add to MB's pics.

Fawcett's creek with about 50cm till coming over bridge. This is the lowest part of Kyogle.


We then ventured over to have a look at the Richmond River which was expected to peak at 16.5m. Lighting was difficult but we did the best with what we had. The river is about 14.5m at this point.



We then decided to get back into town to see how things were progressing. The water was now starting to come over the bridge we were at about an hr earlier.


We then watched as the water rapidly encroached into town. This guy could only watch helplessly as water invaded his shop.



This servo left it till the very last minute to get stuff out.


My last pic of the night shows how much the water had come up. Half an hr before we were standing down near the Mitsubishi sign.


It was crazy to see how fast the water came up. Never seen a flood in Kyogle before so it was a fun experience. I'll be adding up some pics from around Lismore this morning a bit later on.

Cheers Jason
Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Paul D on 29 December 2010, 07:34:48 AM
The sunshine coast area has missed a larger proportion of this rain event so far.
Local total so far is only just over 150mm in contrast to the Wide Bay - Burnet were there have been some totals of double this in the last 4 days (Gin Gin PO 301.2mm in 4 days, Moduran 316mm in 4 days, incl 246mm in the last 48hrs) needless to say there is a few rivers up there at levels not seen since the 1950's.
West of Brisbane the Condamine catchment has also received some high totals of up around 150mm in a 24hr period (SW of Toowoomba Felton rec 144mm for 24hrs, 218mm for 48hrs, Pittsworth recorded 224mm for 48hrs)causing the Condamine at least one station on the river to break the previous record set in 1976 (Condamine R at Tummaville peaked near 11.15m) and to peak around 8m in Warwick last night.
Hence there is a massive list of road closures outside the immediate coastal SEQ
RACQ Road closures QLD text (
Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Jason(pato) on 29 December 2010, 08:07:46 AM
Ok so I decided to do the Lismore ones now rather than later.

Nth is always one of the first places to go under.


Near the CBD


Near the greyhound track and Simes Bridge


My old schools sport ground. I remember many times being on the flood committee at school and helping shift stuff up....goes under quickly here in a moderate flood, thankfully for them this was only a minor one.


Last two are from under the main bridge over the Wilsons River. The usual river channel is on the other side of those trees in the foreground. I remember being in a flood in '89 I think (MB may correct me on that) where the water was lapping at the underside of the bridge.



Now that everything is primed I would hate to think what 200mm overnight in the next few weeks would do to our region. We're long overdue for an epic flood in Lismore.....maybe 2011 could be the year.
Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Colin Maitland on 31 December 2010, 03:42:52 AM
It is hard to try and sum up what has happened in Qld with some of the worst floods in over 50 years and in some places ever on record. Brisbane in general managed to avoid the worst of the floods with just some pockets of area affected. The best way so far, to describe the the event is by posting a  news article from "The Courier Mail."

So much has happened and so many affected. Between the cost of property damage, infrastructure, insurance and now the rising price of food we are all going to feel the effects for a long time to come. The other problem that still haunts us is there is still a strong chance of heavy rain and tropical cyclones working their way down the coastline over the next 2 months. We are not out of danger yet.

This is the article so far that best sums up the flood crisis in Qld;

RECORD flood levels in Queensland towns will take weeks to recede, sparking fears the disaster could lead to a disease outbreak with hundreds of homes inundated with contaminated water.

Dozens of communities remain isolated with flooding at unprecedented levels in Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Emerald and a string of smaller towns as more than 1000 people were forced out of their homes.

Emergency alerts were issued late yesterday to residents in flood-affected towns to boil drinking water.

Bundaberg residents are out in force this morning to see the raging Burnett River which peaked at 7.9m overnight.

Bundaberg's main street was spared, while low-lying businesses and caravan parks weren't as lucky.

Parts of the town are cut off and bridges are closed, but residents are relieved to see patches of blue sky.

There have been rooftop rescues in Bundaberg overnight.

North Bundaberg was hardest hit and residents were evacuated to emergency shelter at North Bundaberg High School.

Rescue helicopters plucked two residents to safety this morning from the top of a shed.

The SES said major flooding of the Burnett River is easing but river levels will remain high until tomorrow.

It reached 7.9m at 5am, but its flow was so fierce it damaged flood gauges. Hydrologists are struggling to get an accurate reading but predict it will rise slightly further to its peak.

The river is expected to start receding tomorrow. The record peak for the Burnett River at Bundaberg is 9m, set in 1890. Today's peak is expected to be the sixth highest in history.

In Emerald, the town's last remaining bridge is about to be shut. The railway bridge, which links one side of town to the other, will be closed this morning.

Authorities have made the decision as the Nogoa River continues to climb to dangerous levels. It was at 15.3m at 4.30am.

Bureau of Meteorology senior hydrologist Paul Birch said the river is expected to smash its record of 15.7m, set in 1950.

The raging Nogoa is predicted to reach 15.8m tomorrow and to remain around that height for about five days.

The Red Cross are preparing to evacuate 1000 people from Emerald today. Many have already fled to the homes of friends and family.

Further north, the swollen Fitzroy River continues to make life tough in Rockhampton.

It reached 8m overnight and is expected to peak at 8.5m on Sunday. "It will probably stay around that level for at least a week," Mr Birch said.

The record peak is 10.1m, set in 1918. In 1991, the Fitzroy climbed to 9.3m.
Water contamination threat

Meanwhile, health authorities said water supplies may be contaminated with sewage, fuel and animal carcasses.

There are also concerns minor cuts or abrasions could turn into major infections if people enter turbid flood waters.

Mosquito-borne disease might also prove to be a problem when the water recedes.

Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said minimising health risks was critical over coming weeks.

Banana Shire Acting Mayor Maureen Clancy said the health of the Theodore community, west of Bundaberg, was paramount in deciding to evacuate the entire town.

"One of the main reasons everyone had to evacuate was the water, sewage and the health risks," Cr Clancy said.

The health warnings came as authorities battled to ensure there was enough safe food and water in affected communities.

Dalby is heavily rationing water after its treatment plant was disabled, leaving only days of clean water.

Council will begin trucking in water today as food and water drops continue to other isolated communities, including Emerald, Chinchilla and Warra.

Emergency Management Queensland boss Bruce Grady said it was not known when residents would be allowed to return to their homes in many areas.

"These flood waters are likely to remain high for a long period of time," he said. "In some cases, that might be measured by weeks rather than days."

Inundated homes and businesses could be without electricity for prolonged periods because of a requirement they must be inspected by a qualified electrician before power can be restored.

It is not known how long the process will take, but the State Government has begun gathering a pool of qualified electricians who have already been deployed to Barcaldine, Blackall and Longreach.

Fuel shortages are also set to be a problem with underground tanks inundated.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek said it was critical residents could access the resources they needed after the flood waters receded.

"There's still concern that when the immediate emergency passes that there be enough learnt from what has happened in the past," he said.

Police said they would be working to ensure looters didn't take advantage of the situation.

Eight police moved into Theodore yesterday after the unprecedented evacuation left the town vulnerable. And extra police were flown into Emerald last night to assist local officers patrolling the streets.

Gladstone district inspector Graham Coleman said they would work to secure homes.

"A home is a man's castle and a lot of people have left their belongings in their homes," he said. "In recent history in Queensland there have been instances (of looting).

"Our role is to ensure that doesn't happen anywhere."

Returning from holidays with her family to examine the floods, Premier Anna Bligh described the situation as "heartbreaking".

"Hundreds of families across Queensland have been hard hit by the worst flooding in decades – in some cases, the worst on record," she said.

More water is believed to be on its way to Theodore from the isolated town of Taroom and parts of Bundaberg will become isolated tonight as the Burnett River heads towards a peak of 7.8m.

Flood waters are holding steady in the inundated town of Chinchilla, while up to 1000 residents could be evacuated from Emerald tomorrow in what's tipped to be the worst flood in the town's history.

The main bridge into town is already cut and Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire said the flood would be 30cm higher than the devastating 2008 floods. At least 200 homes are expected to be inundated.

Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter will not rule out forced evacuations with flood waters bearing down on his city.

The Courier Mail  Thursday 30/12/2010
Title: Re: Flooding NE NSW and QLD, and NSW Storms: 25 - 28 Dec 2010
Post by: Jeff Brislane on 05 January 2011, 02:56:17 AM
Sorry about the late reply on this event but on Boxing day i videoed an intense and tight cyclonic rotation in the sqaull line that passed over Penrith. It was brief but very impressive rotation.

Rapid Cloud Rotation (