Weather Watch | No rain relief in sight

DRY SPELL: Although heavy rain in Queensland usually signals the same for the region, this time the front is heading west so dry weather will continue for several weeks yet.
DRY SPELL: Although heavy rain in Queensland usually signals the same for the region, this time the front is heading west so dry weather will continue for several weeks yet.

Despite the recent heavy rain over most of inland Queensland, dry conditions look set to continue in our region for several weeks.

Usually, heavy rain over the inland parts of Queensland this time of year has spread to most places in the region; but this time the system is weakening and moving away towards Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

Charleville, which had its driest year on record last year, received a welcome 59mms to last Sunday morning, March 4, the wettest March day for six years.

Cloncurry, which holds the record for the highest-ever temperature recorded in Australia, a reading of 53.8 degrees on January 16, 1889, was drenched by 160mms of rainfall the past two days.

Similar deluges at the beginning of March occurred in 1917, 1954, 1971 and 1997 at Cloncurry.

The rain systems of 1954 and 1971 over inland Queensland moved slowly south into far eastern South Australia and weakened, leaving us in warmer-than-normal conditions with very little rainfall in our region until mid-April.

The 1997 case did bring isolated moderate rainfalls at some places in early March, but it remained dry up to mid-May, and maximum temperatures above normal up to early May of 1997.

Charleville, which had its driest year on record last year, received a welcome 59mms to last Sunday morning ...

Perth last summer did not have a maximum temperature at all exceeding 38 degrees.

This was unusual in itself as there were only 10 other summers in the past 130 years when this happened; but even more remarkable was that there was some very hot days of 43-44 degrees in Adelaide last summer.

There were only three other episodes out of those 10 summers when very hot days occurred in Adelaide. These were in 1898-1899, 1901-1902 and 1905-1906.

The record shows significant rainfalls in late March for these three cases in our region, but very erratic rainfalls for the rest of autumn.

Broome has just had its coldest February on record, the previous record being in 1942.

Apart from some moderate rains in late March it was very dry until heavy rain arrived in May in our region in 1942.

For Easter holiday makers it looks certain to be dry and markedly warmer than normal; the warmest Easter since 1955.