Storms bring best rain in years

ALBURY has recorded its heaviest rainfall in more than two years.

Bureau of Meteorology figures show 52.2mm fell in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday.

A further 5.4mm was recorded later in the day, taking the total rainfall for the month well above the February average of 38.4mm.

At the same time, Rutherglen and Yarrawonga experienced the heaviest rain in five years with 53mm and 40mm respectively.

Other parts of the Murray-Darling basin, including Ivanhoe with 41mm, received the most rain in a decade.

The weather channel meteorologist Tom Saunders said this was due to a low pressure trough moving across south eastern Australia which was interacting with moisture from ex-tropical cyclone Olga.

“The Murray basin has received below-average rain for the past 10 years,” he said.

“While these falls are definitely welcome, much more rain is needed to cancel out the severe deficits that have built up during this period.”

The last time Albury received rain of the same magnitude was 53mm in November, 2007.

Other heavy downpours have included 62mm in April, 2000, 62mm in August, 2003 and 60mm in September 2005.

The bureau’s senior forecaster Scott Williams said the Albury weather station has never seen so much rain fall in February in its 15-year history.

“You’ve probably only had half a dozen falls of over 50mm in the last 15 years,” he said.

As well as rain, a spectacular display of lightning and thunder was also seen on the Border.

Amateur photographer, Sam Terrell, watched the storm from his front porch in Kooba Street, North Albury.

“It was really short and sweet,” he said.

“The lightning lasted for about 10 minutes, disappeared and then we got a bit of rain.”

Heavy rain caused

chaos in Beechworth where flooding forced the Montessori school to cancel classes.

Administration assistant Heather Gerrard said the classroom, which is used to teach 29 students, aged six to nine years, was under an inch of water.

“The ironic thing is we have to close on Monday because LaTrobe is doing maintenance on water mains and we won’t have water, and today we have too much,” she said.

A blocked gutter has been blamed for the flooding, which was expected to be cleaned up for classes on Wednesday.

The wet weather was also blamed for a car crash on the Hume Highway at Little Billabong yesterday.

A vehicle aquaplaned, crashing into a tree about 9.40am. No one was hurt.

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