APRIL 6, 2021tags: Australia
By Paul Homewood
Floods in Australia made big news last month, (Click on link to watch video):
The floods mainly affected NSW and SE Queensland. The video talks of “less than 1%” chance of this amount of rainfall occurring. But the BOM figures don’t support this claim.
In NSW, although it was the second wettest March, it was considerably wetter in 1956. Moreover it was not particularly wet in February, so the ground would not have been saturated.
March of course is only one month. Last month 136mm fell in NSW, but this amount is not unusual when all months are taken into account. Indeed it would appear that extreme rainfall months were more common in the past:
The BOM published a summary last week, which highlights various daily and monthly records set at some locations, but again these are only for March. None of this supports the allegation of a 1 in 100 year event. Instead it was just an unusual and localised occurrence for the month of March.
As the video points out, Australia is a land of flood and drought:
I mentioned March 1956, but that year it barely stopped raining from February to May, which led to the worst flooding in NSW, Victoria and South Australia since 1870. This truly was an epic event, and was accurately described as a 1 in 100 year occurrence. This year’s floods don’t go anywhere near approaching 1956, as the following video vividly shows.
It is 16 minutes long, but I would thoroughly recommend watching it. It not only gives an idea just how bad the flooding was, but also offers an insight into life in those days. Below it is a short film, which also shows how widespread the flooding was.
Towards the end, you will see a reference to the floods of 1870, which by all accounts were even worse.
The term 1 in 100 year event is regularly abused nowadays, and is invariably used to describe what are no more than common weather events. Scientists doing this belittle the truly epic events of the past.