Australia hit by fire and flood

Oz summer storms cause flood damage to infrastructure and produce.

by
    Australia hit by fire and flood
    Cherries are easily damaged by rain. [EPA]

    Australia has endured some dramatic weather in the last few weeks. Vicious bush fires in South Australia in the Adelaide hills; flash flooding in Western Australia up in Kimberley and more flooding just outside Darwin in Northern Territory.
     
    Then, a forecast of a once-in-40-year rainfall event, in South Australia, in the Flinders Ranges and further north into the Outback. That rain carried on eastwards dampening down any potential tinder in Victoria.

    Next in line was Tasmania and a once-in-a-decade flood. Tasmanian cherry growers watched in despair: cherries tend to burst their skins when they’re ripe and it rains. Some farmers even tried using helicopters for a quick blow dry afterwards, but it is estimated that 40-50 percent of the crop may be lost.

    Not to be outdone, it’s now Queensland’s turn for the downpours. Deep thunderstorms are being fed moisture from the Coral Sea, and at the same time shooting upwards into a hole in the upper atmosphere, not an unusual event but a dramatic one all the same.

    Thunderstorms have been torrential at times, with 18mm falling in just 10 minutes at Williamson and 42mm in 30 minutes at Emu Creek near Bowen. That is flash flood territory and includes the risk of damaging wind gusts up to 110kph.
     
    These Queensland thunderstorms have the potential to drop 250mm in just 24 hours. And the complex cause will be around for the next two days, concentrating storms between Townsville and Bundaberg and inland to the town of Emerald.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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