Australia Rainfall Not Unprecedented, Skill at Forecasting Dismal

This is Part 4, of the series ‘Australia’s Broken Temperature Record’.

From Jennifer Marohasy’s Blog

March 8, 2022 By jennifer 


The recent torrential rains in southeast Queensland are not unprecedented.  The Australian 24-hour rainfall record of 907 mm is still Crohamhurst in the Brisbane catchment recorded on 3rd February 1893.  We don’t know how much rain fell at Crohamhurst in February 2022 because that weather station (#040062)) was closed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in March 2003.

The simulation models currently used by the Bureau have no skill at seasonal rainfall forecasting.  Models based on pattern analysis of historical data would be more accurate.   The reliable forecasting of exceptionally wet summers likely requires the monitoring of volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere, as well as accurate historic temperature and rainfall records.

In More Detail

After devastating flooding along the east coast of Australia, the Climate Council has put out a media release calling for action on climate change: that the Australian government mandate renewable energy and build an economy free from fossil fuels.  This is no solution.  And it is worth remembering that their Chief Councillor, Tim Flannery, gave advice not so long ago that it would never flood again – that Australia was doomed to eternal drought.  It should be obvious by now that the armchair environmentalists haven’t a clue when it comes to the weather.

For these true believers, it is too awful to even consider that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) could be exaggerating global warming by changing all the historical temperature measurements until the cooling to 1960 is changed to warming.   Over the last twenty years remodelling of the historical temperature data by the Bureau has stripped away the cycles, so even cool years now add warming to the official trend.  In denying the very nature of Australia’s climate, which is dominated by wet and dry cycles, the experts are unable to anticipate extremely wet weather because they have lost all sense of history.

February 2022 was extremely wet in southeast Queensland, where I live.  The city of Brisbane flooded again.  There were tens of thousands of homes inundated.  It is a tragedy.  This is the second time in eleven years.

The flooding in 2011 was caused by the emergency release of water from Wivenhoe Dam, a dam built for flood mitigation following devastating flooding in 1974.  The 2011 flooding was the subject of a class action with the Queensland government, SunWater and SEQ Water (the dam operators) recently found negligent.

During the worst of the flooding this year the dam operator again kept releasing water as the city flooded.  Though the torrential rains had stopped, water kept being released because the Bureau forecast that more – even worst – rain was imminent.  Rain that never eventuated.

As usual, the Bureau’s skill at forecasting proved dismal with devastating consequences.

I benchmarked the skill of the Bureau’s simulation modelling for seasonal rainfall forecasting in a series of papers with John Abbot published in international peer-reviewed journals, conference papers, and as book chapters from 2012 to 2017.  Our conclusion was that the Bureau’s simulation model POAMA, developed over a period of 20-years in collaboration with other IPCC-aligned scientists, had very limited skill at rainfall forecasting despite being run on an expensive supercomputer – the Bureau now has the largest supercomputer in the Southern Hemisphere, but the skill of their rainfall forecasting is not improving.

The Bureau’s simulation models are simply unable to forecast the big rainfall events at a reasonable lead time.

Management at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology continue to deny that reality at great cost and heartache to the Australian community.

There is a growing body of evidence showing the most skilful medium and long-term rainfall forecasts are made using statistical models in combination with artificial intelligence.  These are the models that John Abbot and I were developing from February 2011 – following the January 2011 flooding that I foresaw as avoidable had the Bureau warned the dam operators of the impending wet summer.

At that time, back in late 2010, it was evident from the very high Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) that we were likely to experience a very wet summer.   But there was no preparation – Wivenhoe Dam was kept full of water until it was too late.

This last summer it was not as obvious that we were going to experience torrential flooding rains.  It could be that the relatively mild La Nina conditions this year across the South Pacific were made worse by an atmosphere exceptionally high in volcanic aerosols from the explosion of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai a month earlier.

Very high rainfall totals in Hong Kong in 1982 correlate with the arrival of stratospheric aerosol plumes from the eruption of El Chichon, which spewed 20 million tonnes of aerosol.

There are technical papers that explains how atmospheres high in aerosols can contribute to exceptionally high rainfall, but this literature is ignored by mainstream climate scientists who continue to run simulation models mistakenly emphasising the role of carbon dioxide in climate change.

To contrive a correlation between temperatures and carbon dioxide, temperatures are homogenised, as detailed in earlier posts in this series.

Republished from ‘History Australia Damning the ‘Flood Evil’ on the Brisbane River by Margaret Cook. The Lowood rainfall gauge is on the Brisbane River just upstream of Fernvale.

During the recent flooding of Brisbane, I was watching the rain gauge at Lowood on the Brisbane River (Station# 040120) just 10 kms downstream of the Wivenhoe Dam.  A total of 240 mms fell on Saturday 26th February 2022 which was a record for Lowood for any one day since August 1887; when they began measuring daily rainfall at Lowood.  Except there are not records for Lowood for the very wettest period on record in southeast Queensland, that is February 1893. It is likely that the rainfall gauge at Lowood was washed away back in February 1893!

If we consider the rainfall record for Crohamhurst that is also in the Brisbane catchment, but upstream of both the Wivenhoe and Somerset Dams, a truly staggering 2,046 mms fell between 31st January and 5thFebruary 1893.

The 24-hour record of 907 mms on 3rd February 1893 is the highest one-day rainfall total for anywhere in Australia.  We will never know if this record was equalled or beaten in February 2022 because the Bureau has closed this weather station.  It was closed in March 2003.

One-day, and also summer, rainfall totals for Lowood and also Crohamhurst for years of most intense summer rainfall with data.

It is also unfortunate that despite a growing budget, and increasing concern about extreme temperatures, that the Bureau has closed the Charlotte Pass weather station which held the record for lowest daily minimum temperature in Australia.  That weather station was closed in March 2015.

The most accurate weather prediction systems rely on statistical models using artificial intelligence software to elucidate patterns in historical data.  So, the integrity of Australia’s temperature and rainfall record is paramount.

Yet both temperature and rainfall records are being constantly eroded by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.  Important weather stations are being closed, and the available temperature data remodelled stripping away evidence of past cycles of warming and cooling that correspond with periods of drought often broken with flooding rains.   How the past cycles are removed from the temperatures series is detailed in Part 2 of this series.

There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to these climate cycles, and they continue to be perturbed by volcanic eruptions.

But we now have technocrats, bureaucrats and politicians more concerned with maintaining the illusion of catastrophic global warming than providing accurate daily or season weather forecasts.  Despite an extraordinary improvement in computing power, the bureau remains wedded to simulation models and homogenised data despite better alternatives.

Back in 2014 an investigation of these issues was proposed by then Prime Minister Tony Abbot but prevented because of intervention by Environment Minister Greg Hunt. He argued in Cabinet that the credibility of the institution/the Bureau was paramount. Greg Hunt argued that it is most important theAustralia public have trust in the Bureau’s data and forecasts, so the public heed weather warning.  No consideration was given to the accuracy, or otherwise, of these warning.

Republished from The Australian newspaper.

I wrote to Senator Simon Birmingham in August 2018, then the Minister responsible for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, explaining that the Bureau’s seasonal forecasts are terrible, and I proposed solutions.  By then I had authored peer-reviewed publications detailing the skill of alternative techniques for rainfall forecasting.

The Senator never gave my proposed solutions any consideration.   I continued to forecast seasonal rainfall using artificial neural networks that are a form of artificial intelligence until early 2018, when a contract with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) was terminated.  This followed the Bureau’s refusal to allow me to meet with them in Melbourne, as part of delegation including senior Indonesian meteorologists.  I am no longer forecasting seasonal rainfall, but would be keen to recommence with appropriate resourcing and in collaboration with the Bureau.

I was in Brisbane last Thursday afternoon (March 3, 2022), helping with the clean-up from the latest flooding of garages in Sandford Street, St Lucia.  The group I was working with insisted on downing-tools at 2pm because of the Bureau’s weather warning that described our situation as ‘dangerous’ and ‘potentially life threatening’ while repeating a severe thunderstorm warning.  The Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, was broadcast across news radio urging parents to waste no time collecting their children from school.

All the while the sun kept shinning and I kept battling the mud.  Not a drop of rain fell from the sky, nor was there any thunder.   As I drove out of Brisbane that evening, on my way home, the flash flooding forecast for that same afternoon was cancelled by the Bureau.  Next, on the radio there was discussion about the ‘Rain Bombs’ of five days earlier.  How they had been ‘unprecedented’.  More than one metre of rain had fallen at some locations in just a few days.  There was no mention of the more than two metres of rain that fell at Crohamhurst in early February 1893.

Sandford Street, St Lucia, on the banks of the swollen Brisbane River, Thursday, 3rd March 2022 – Jennifer with another volunteer (face muddied for anonymity).


This is Part 4, of the series ‘Australia’s Broken Temperature Record’.

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March 8, 2022 2:05 pm

We know Aussies like to boast their manliness, but the attached weather map might be overdoing it a bit.

Jennifer Marohasy
Reply to  Vuk
March 8, 2022 2:35 pm

Ha Ha.

Robert B
Reply to  Vuk
March 8, 2022 7:38 pm

Pinnochio nose. What did you think it was?

Reply to  Robert B
March 9, 2022 4:08 am


March 8, 2022 2:11 pm

It absolutely IS unprecedented.

Please look at graph ‘Australia’s La Niña of 2021-22: cumulative rainfall v long term averages’

In this article
Sydney floods: two found dead, roads inundated, homes and suburbs across the city swamped | Australia east coast floods 2022 | The Guardian

Tom Halla
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 2:29 pm

Citing the Grauniad?

Jennifer Marohasy
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 2:32 pm

Thanks Griff. The extent of the flooding is unprecedented. But maybe not the rainfall. I can see that your rainfall chart begins in 1900. The wettest periods on record were before then, through the 1890s.

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  Jennifer Marohasy
March 8, 2022 4:25 pm

Notice that Griff tends to chime in and depart . He is entirely aware – and so is The Guardian – of the clustered flood peaks, higher watermarks and heavier precipitation periods of the 1800’s

Reply to  Stuart Hamish
March 8, 2022 6:19 pm

Australian Aborigine tribes located along the NSW Hunter River, the Port of Newcastle is at the river heads today, told early white settlers about two weather events before they arrived to establish the Colony of New South Wales at Sydney Town, Port Jackson, Sydney Harbour, 26 January 1788.

The Aborigines explained that decades earlier the Hunter River was completely dry above the high tide level for years, the tribes moved into the hills to take advantage of spring water. Another time there was Hunter River flooding around the now City of Maitland, nearby Morpeth was the first Port.

The flooding, Aborigines pointed to a nearby hill to explain, almost covered the top of that hill to a level higher than any flood level experienced since.

Following major flooding during the 1950s Maitland Council and the State Government constructed massive levy banks to protect the city from future floods.

The land of droughts and flooding rains.

Mark Arundell
Reply to  Dennis
March 8, 2022 9:27 pm

Thanks Stuart for posting that.

I’ve read similar stories in the past and have been mentioning them to my hyperventilating family. Hasn’t done much good. Perhaps understandably, no one wants historical context in a crisis. (I expect I would feel that way if my house was under 10 feet of water.)

Does anyone have any references supporting pre colonial and early colonial flooding?

Climate believer
Reply to  Stuart Hamish
March 9, 2022 1:58 am

It absolutely IS ISN’T unprecedented.

Brisbane 1893

Climate believer
Reply to  Climate believer
March 9, 2022 1:59 am

Brisbane Courier 30TH December 1893.

THE year which expires tomorrow needs no record to keep it green in the memory of the present generation. Cradled in
disasters unparalleled in the history of the colony, its repeated strokes of misfortune have been met by the indomitable spirit of the Anglo-Saxon, and it closes upon us with surer and brighter hopes of returning prosperity than we have known for years.

The first crushing trouble lay in the un-precedented floods of February, which affected Central as well as Southern Queens-land, and wrought havoc in the northern districts of New South Wales.

On Sunday, the 5th, the inhabitants of Brisbane were confounded to find the waters of the river rise twelve feet beyond those of the great flood of 1890.

No need here to recount the resulting sufferings and losses. But just when the drowned-out citizens had sweetened their houses and replaced their furniture, when business men had cleansed their warehouses, and a second smaller flood had
seemed to indicate that the worst was over, on the 19th—a second black Sunday— there swept down on the devoted city a flood rising in some places higher than its predecessor of a fortnight before.

Some had prepared for the event, but others lost heart under the renewed calamity, and many houses which the rushing torrent had failed to sweep away were abandoned in despair. A heavy public blow was sustained in the loss of the Victoria and Indooroopilly bridges. The total loss inflicted was put down at little short of a million sterling.

Robert B
Reply to  Jennifer Marohasy
March 8, 2022 7:59 pm

Just looking at Centennial Park,
Feb in 1990 had 613 mm. This Feb had 400 mm but about 650 mm since the 9th of Feb. It’s more but the nearly 400 mm of that 613 mm fell in two days.

Feb and March in 1956 had 870 mm. There was almost 700 mm between 9th of Feb and 8th of March.

Not the same time of year but, Sep to Nov in 1975 had about 1350 mm for the three months. The 5 month total, starting in July, was 2168 mm. Sydney had over 3 m of rain that year.

Anyone pretending that this was due to climate change is telling porkies.

alastair gray
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 2:37 pm

Well Hell Jen has an opinion that she defends with hard data and statistics and a historical perspective. She also publishes a mean amount of good scientific stuff.
FFRIG and GRAUNIAD beg to differ because they are like woke and know where it is at and like don’t like ,like Jen’s ,like, fake like, news and like, you like, know ” the Science” which is like, as you know like settled.
Hope you don’t like this Griff.
PS is Griff real or a lightning rod bot ?

Dudley Horscroft
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 2:38 pm

I looked an noted that this is comparing oranges to lemons. The line denoted “Very Wet” is the “90th percentile (very wet) of historic daily cumulative rainfall values.” As this is the 90th percentile, it means that 10 percent exceed that very wet line.

What the rainfall should be compared against is the “Extreme daily rainfall” totals, either for a single day, or for a group of days.

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
March 8, 2022 4:22 pm

Griff is like, awesome and amazing, you know, right?

I was like, wow when he just like, said stuff.

alastair gray
Reply to  Mr.
March 8, 2022 7:21 pm

Yeah Like Far Oot and Richt On as we used to say in Aiberdeen fan ah wuz young

David Kamakaris
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 2:41 pm

Griff, how long is your record?

Reply to  David Kamakaris
March 8, 2022 11:23 pm

Infinite – it’s stuck

Teddy Lee
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 2:42 pm

Give it a rest Griffy.You really are a prize twerp.

Matt G
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 3:18 pm

None of the recent rainfall events in Austrailia have been unusual when it comes to rainfall rates over a certain period of time.

There has been no notable rainfall rates recorded here since 1993 and most of them are at least several decades old.

This therefore leads to that flooding is only made worse by either mismanagement or longer duration of events that aren’t unprecedented but enough to cause significant flooding. Otherwise no different to what has happened many decades before. There are random factors in how long events last that are not based on higher temperatures but how the atmospheric pressure evolves over regions.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 4:40 pm

El Niño – La Niña is a natural ocean cycle originating in the Tropical Pacific and has little to nothing to do with CO2.

Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 6:12 pm

Griff, I am Australian born and raised, I lived in Sydney for most of my early years and adult working life and I can assure you that the present heavy rainfall and flooding of low lying areas has taken place several times that I have experienced.

Late 1980s my home high on a hill was inundated with stormwater from a street higher up and properties behind mine, on both sides of my house fast running deep water flowed, the upper backyard on rocky ground had all the topsoil and grass washed away and the house foundations were flooded.

Right now is one of the worst weather events in Sydney that I have experienced, having just returned to my country home from Sydney yesterday.

Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 6:25 pm

I remember just a couple of years ago griff going on about a lack of rain and how the bush fires were unprecedented.

Where are those bush fires now, griff ?

Reply to  b.nice
March 8, 2022 7:11 pm

Bushfires are next, following the torrential rains the bush will flourish and fire hazard materials will build up again, then the next drought will dry the bush out providing perfect bushfire conditions again.

The land of droughts and flooding rains.

Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 7:23 pm

Griffter is very generous….trying to help Oz after keeping the UK gas under ground while tilting windmills…his guidance will make any country green with envy …his guardianship of planet earth will help make it safe for….. Putin?

Reply to  griff
March 8, 2022 10:17 pm

Those of us in Australia care little for your stupidity .. get a life greentard 🙂

Besides assume what you say were true …. face a few floods or become enslaved to Russia and China? I know which the majority of Australians would choose. … Mine on!!!!!

Reply to  griff
March 9, 2022 2:42 pm

And yet more lies from the lie spewing liar.

Dudley Horscroft
March 8, 2022 2:24 pm

I thought that Spencers Creek had the record for the lowest temperatures in Australia. Situated up in the Snowys, it certainly amused us in Canberra as temperatures several degrees lower than at Thredbo (a ski and SNOW RESORT FOR THOSE NOT FAMLIAR WITH Australia). My late wife and I went to Thredbo for a weeks holiday starting Boxing Day, departing Canberra in Bright sunshine, then as we travelled south it got more and more cloudy till approaching Thredbo it started raining. To dinner at the ski lodge, then after dinner the doors were opened to snow falling! On what should have been nearly the hottest day of the year!

Following morning, bright sunshine and 6 inches of snow on the ground. The shops which had been closed for the summer were quickly re-opened and all the cold weather gear was quickly sold out. We enjoyed the underground railway taking us to near the top of the Snowys, enjoyable but we were not into ski-ing or snow boarding. Just enjoyed the relaxation.

Jennifer Marohasy
Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
March 8, 2022 2:34 pm

The Bureau has closed the Charlotte Pass weather station which holds the record of −23.0 °C for the lowest daily minimum temperature in Australia, set on 29 June 1994.  That weather station was closed in March 2015.  
Meanwhile, in June 2017, the Bureau opened several new stations in very hot western New South Wales.  One of these stations, Borrona Downs, had a hardware fault and in August 2017 was spuriously recording temperatures as low as –62.5 °C.  At the same time, in the cold Australian alps a limit of –10.4 °C had been set on how cold temperatures could be recorded. 
The idea of such a limit on cold days does sound conspiratorial and it was reluctantly acknowledged in an official report from the Bureau – but only after I alerted Josh Frydenberg, then the Minister response for the Bureau, to the problem at the Thredbo and Goulburn stations in July 2017. 

Reply to  Jennifer Marohasy
March 8, 2022 4:15 pm

Nice little slope at Charlotte 🙂

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Jennifer Marohasy
March 8, 2022 4:33 pm

Wow, putting a lower boundary on the temperature you record certainly helps pumping up that mean temperature, the entire game it seems.

Reminds me of Willis’s post regarding actual construction of a climate model and how they put in hard barriers to prevent the model from completely running away into fantasyland.
But If the models had any basis in reality there would be no need to have guardrails or limits to prevent this.

Reply to  Jennifer Marohasy
March 8, 2022 5:25 pm

Jennifer I don’t know where the closest weather station is to Gulgong NSW but my home weather station and the minimum temperature on the app I use agree pretty consistently. Except that anomaly minimum temps are always adjusted up for the almanac. On one morning in July 2020 the minimum temp showed up as minus three degrees. The white frost across the valley along with frozen bird baths and spiders webs confirmed this. By the end of the day the minimum temp had been adjusted for the almanac to three degrees! Six degrees is a massive adjustment. These changes are a regular occurrence, though not usually to that extent. Why would the general trust these people?

Reply to  Jennifer Marohasy
March 8, 2022 8:00 pm

Edit to my comment: Why would the general “population” trust these people.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Megs
March 9, 2022 2:47 am

Good question.

4 Eyes
March 8, 2022 2:38 pm

Jennifer, CAGW has been “too big to fail” for several years now. Too many careers – technical and political – and so much money have been invested in it. Hunt was a dismal failure in that portfolio – a minister putting appearance before reality is to my mind criminal but that is what virtually every Australian politician does, with great skill, unfortunately.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  4 Eyes
March 8, 2022 3:10 pm

I would place a different spin on ‘to big to fail’. That has been true in the past given all the dollars involved both in IPCC ‘research’ and ‘ruinables’. So both the research budgets and the renewables just kept growing bigger and bigger. But they still both fail, and the costs of bigger failure continue to grow bigger. That is not a long term sustainable dynamic. AR6 (both WG1 and now WG2) is laughably weak and easier than ever to ridicule. The big WILL fail, precisely because of the accumulation of fact based observations like this excellent ‘down under’ post from Jen. To whom I gifted a free ‘author’s copy’ of Blowing Smoke when it first published because of her many contributions in its various essays, especially essay ‘When Data Isn’t’.

March 8, 2022 3:01 pm

Living in the eastern side of Australia is similar to living next to an active volcano. Regular extreme weather events. Its all natural.

ENSO causes droughts and floods. During la nina and neutral ENSO, winds and oceans currents at the equator accumulate sunlight warmed water around the eastern Pacific.

This warm water cools through evaporation and condensation and warm moisture laden air rises creating intense low pressure systems and rainfall. Low pressure systems are powered by the sunlight warmed water accumulated around the eastern Australia.

Very few people in Australia understand ENSO or even basic metrology.

There is no effort to educate them but a big effort to tell them its the evil spirit CO2.

Pacific Ocean Anomalies.png
Reply to  Neil
March 9, 2022 3:10 am

“metrology” or meteorology?

March 8, 2022 3:09 pm

The rainfall so far in 2022 has been very high in both QLD and NSW , but it is not unusual at all. See Ken Stringer’s post and Jo Nova used Ken’s data as well and the comments are interesting.

Here’s Jo Nova’s site using the same historic QLD data from Ken Stewart.  And many interesting comments from Jo’s readers.

Ireneusz Palmowski
March 8, 2022 3:31 pm

There will be more rain in the fall in Australia when the Antarctic jet stream becomes active, with La Niña active.comment image

Peta of Newark
March 8, 2022 3:43 pm

Quote from random search:”After an extended period of ENSO-Neutral conditions during the middle of 2021 (i.e., neither El Niño nor La Niña were occurring), observations of the equatorial Pacific Ocean and atmosphere indicate that La Niña conditions developed during September-October 2021.

OK… let’s start with the statement “Water has really major affinity for itself”

After an extended, as best I read that quote, La Nina event on the Eastern side of the Pacific, the warm pool building on the western side, next to Australia, must be pretty humongous by now.
Maybe not massively warm temp wise otherwise a Nino event would have triggered, but big in volume/area.
That would have pumped and continue to pump, quite sizeable amounts of water into the skies above it.

Back to ‘affinity
Lets imagine that Australia was still a rainforest = a place where thunderstorms break out almost every day.
They would primarily be recycling water that the forest had transpired earlier in that particular day but because of the various up-draughts and down-draughts they create, would be pulling in water from off the ocean
Surely Shirley they must do that = why e.g. the Amazon River has such a huge flow back out into the ocean. All that water came from somewhere.

Thus, if Australia still had daily thunderstorms breaking out over it, those storms would have drained the huuuuge ‘bubble of water vapour’ that was/is hanging over the warm pool of water just offshore and presumably creeping inland as it builds.
A lot like the principle of a lightning conductor. They’re not there to actually conduct lightning, they work to slowly drain or discharge clouds that float overhead. Lightning conductors very rarely actually get hit by lightning.

But, because Australia is a desert wasteland, there are no daily thunderstorms that could drain the big bubble of moisture, so preventing/slowing its growth.
Therefore, the only thing that ever possibly happen is the bubble got sooo big and sooo heavy that it collapsed under its own weight.

And THAT is what happened to make the recent and unprecedented Brisbane flood
= an extended La Nina (for the US west coast) corresponding to an extended El Nino for Australia’s east coast

The Australian Nino built a large atmospheric lake and with nothing to gently drain it, it kept building and building until ‘something’ burst it

Was there – was there a minor outbreak of small insignificant thunderstorms inland – just before the main deluge hit?
= just a small pinprick that burst the bubble, or ‘cracked the dam’ and then the entire bubble, via ‘pineapple express’ sort of event, dumped the entire atmospheric lake on one small spot. Called ‘Crohamhurst’ as it happens.

Geography‘ must play a part as seemingly, Crohamhurst has been dumped on before

Still naught to do with CO2, simple atmospheric physics revolving around the physical properties of good ol’ water.

hooda thunk

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 8, 2022 4:01 pm

missed the edit…

edit to PS
The Pyroclastic Flow that falls down off erupting volcanoes is a near perfect metaphor.
The hot volcano builds a huge mushroom cloud, kept aloft by the continued eruption.
But, if/when the eruption cools, falters and slows, the mushroom cloud catastrophically collapses.
That was what this was, a water based pyroclastic flow.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
March 8, 2022 5:13 pm

The fatal flaw in your illogical rant is that a local thunderstorm over a rainforest would do nothing to “drain” the offshore “bubble”. DUH. Thunderstorms are local phenomena that exist both on and offshore. You should also know that thunderstorms are a tropical thing, not necessarily a rainforest thing. They’re tropical because the atmosphere has high water content from evaporation off warm water. Look at the lightning frequency map. Pay attention to the low lightning frequency over the Ho rainforest in Western Washington State, U.S. and the high lighting frequency over the Himalayas (not a rain forest)

Reply to  meab
March 9, 2022 3:34 am

aus gets a LOT of dry thunderstorms

Geoff Sherrington
March 8, 2022 3:50 pm

Simple water management engineering principles allow a solution by an
Increase total stored water. Build more dams.
Brisbane grows bigger, needs more drinking water.
If you try to store it all in Wivenhoe you will be too close to full when heavy rain hits.
So you have to release some, which adds to the flooding.
Damage becomes many $$$ more expensive than building new dams.
All that stops it is (near criminal) green activism.
Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
March 8, 2022 4:27 pm

Improve the stormwater drainage system … it is as old as Brisbane is. Funny, Councils and their enterprises have collected hundreds of millions $ from property developers (actually purchasers of residences pay this in the purchase price … is it therefore a silent tax ?) in the name of infrastructure charges … all new infrastructures is built by the developers and handed back to councils and their enterprises as public infrastructure. I cannot recall any renewal of major trunk infrastructure (water, sewerage or stormwater pipelines) by Council or its enterprises … it is no wonder Brisbane and its regions flood in big storms when it has a century old trunk infrastructure.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Streetcred
March 9, 2022 6:52 am

The Guardian reported on the recent floods in Lismore NSW on 4th March.I was struck by the fact that the river had flooded in February 1954 when waters rose to 12.27 metres and in March 1974 when the river rose 12.15 metres

Yet the towns levee only had a capacity for “roughly 10 metres” and was overwhelmed by the 14.4 metres rise of the recent floods. Why I wondered after the two earlier events had nothing been done to increase the height of the levee?
But this question just passed the Guardian’s three reporters by. They were more interested in getting “unprecedented” into the report as many times as possible

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
March 8, 2022 6:08 pm

Absolutely! The solution is obvious, Build more dams. As I understand, the construction of the Wivenhoe dam was planned before the devastating 1974 floods, but wasn’t built untill after those floods occurred. It included a flood-mitigation role, or an increased flood-mitigation role, as a result of the 1974 floods.

The flood-mitigation role is obviously not large enough, as indicated by two major floods in the past 12 years The dam is used for both a water supply to residents of Brisbane and Ipswich and for flood-mitigation purposes. The big question now is whether the Queensland government will build more dams to avoid the billions of dollars worth of damage that the next flood will cause in another 10, or 20, or 30 years?

The major problem is not just the expense of building more dams, but the resistance from farmers to sell their land to the government because their families have been farming there for generations.

Reply to  Vincent
March 8, 2022 7:28 pm

See UN Agenda 21 – Sustainability, signed by the Federal Keating Labor Government circa 1990.

Reply to  Dennis
March 9, 2022 5:51 am

I agree. It’s not just the problem of forcing farmers to sell their land, or receive a reasonable compensation for their loss of land which will be covered in water when a new dam is built, it’s also the problem of destroying areas of forests and other areas which are legally conservation areas or national parks.

However, perhaps the biggest obstacle to flood mitigation, and drought and storm protection, is the increase in the use of fossil fuels that would be required to produce the massive amounts of concrete and steel, and earth-moving equipment that are required to build more dams and levees, elevate more roads, and relocate homes that are in low, flood-prone areas.

This is incompatible with the drive to reduce CO2 emissions. Whilst I feel sympathy for those whose homes have been submerged by the recent floods, my advice would be to leave your home and move to a higher area which is above the level of previous, known flood levels, because a similar flood will very likely occur again in the future. However, whether such a flood will occur again in 10, or 20, or 30, or even 50 years, cannot be predicted.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
March 8, 2022 7:26 pm

Several sites set aside during the 1960 and 1970s for major new dams in New South Wales were abandoned following the signing by Australia of the United Nations Agenda 21 – Sustainability around 1990.

State lands including State Forests were converted into UN registered National Parks where new dams, logging for commercial and other purposes, mining and other activities are banned, even raising the height of the existing Sydney water supply Warragamba Dam has been debated and deferred for many years based on environmental arguments, ignoring the increasing population and flood mitigation.

The influence of United Nations organisations via Treaties and Agreements signed between the UN and member nation governments, legislated and regulated in each member nation, has undermined economic prosperity and advantaged so called developing nations, example China. They can build dams and new coal fired power stations to advantage their economy while so called developed nations gradually lose national security and potential economic prosperity increases from manufacturing etc.

Phillip Williams
March 8, 2022 4:15 pm

It’s important to note that the official totals don’t actually agree with what’s happening in reality. In 1998, in Townsville, QLD – the official highest rainfall event over 24hrs was 897mm, however in many parts of the city over 1300mm of rain was recorded. Let’s not confuse measurements, with reality, as I’m sure the same goes for this rain event.

Reply to  Phillip Williams
March 8, 2022 7:30 pm

I remember watching on television news a company Townsville Branch Office and Warehouse employee and manager driving through floodwaters near Townsville Airport, to my surprise.

March 8, 2022 5:34 pm

Jennifer, has anyone thought about private citizens reopening the weather stations the government has closed. I’m sure you could get some mighty fine equipment for way less than what the government is spending on theirs. You already have proof that the most expensive equipment doesn’t guarantee good and proper results. The government has the fanciest super computer in the Southern Hemisphere yet their track record sucks.

Jennifer Marohasy
Reply to  Bob
March 8, 2022 5:59 pm

Hi Bob, A few years ago I put a lot of work into the planning for setting up just a few weather stations. One was Charlotte Pass. But the person who was helping me with this became all consumed with the extent of the regulations involved in placing something like this into that national park. And I was probably too ambitious in that I also wanted to start with Canberra airport, because I thought the owner of that airport would help with this. We were going to put up a weather station next to the Bureau’s weather station at the airport. In the end, after the investment of a huge amount of time, key players lost confidence … It became all too political for them. I need to start again on this.

Reply to  Jennifer Marohasy
March 8, 2022 7:19 pm

Our governments have become so corrupt if they told me I was a good person I would have to check it out.

March 8, 2022 5:46 pm

Change in rainfall doesn’t equal change in flooding.

The Thames is the only river that has good historic catchment rainfall and streamflow data.
Yet modelled output streamflows from historic rainfall events can not match actual observed streamflow..
This is because there are two many unknown changes to the catchment imperviousness and river shape.

Every change of crop, housing development, dredging, embankment works and meander cutoff change the flow more than a few percentage point increase in rainfall

Richard Page
Reply to  Waza
March 9, 2022 3:05 pm

Only two? I would have thought there’d be too many to count!

March 8, 2022 7:15 pm

I wonder how many people who do not live in Australia realise that most of the population lives on coastal plains, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria East Coastline and with many rivers and creeks flowing to the ocean from the Great Dividing Range between the coast and the inland countryside?

Northern Australia across from East coast to the West coast experience a very wet season of months of heavy rainfall.

March 8, 2022 7:38 pm

 Models based on pattern analysis of historical data would be more accurate.  

Does not take much pattern analysis to forecast floods across eastern Australia when a double dip La Nina presents itself.
Data file with monthly & seasonal values since 1854

Just look at any stretch of “L” in the “Phase” column denoting La Nina for more than 1 year.and you will nail major flooding in eastern Australia.

Now if ENSO phase could be predicted with some precision then that would nail the forecasting of floods.

It appears salinity may be the phase switch for ENSO – something I recently contemplated but found others have already looked at it:

With realistic salinity initial states, the tendency to decay of the subsurface cold condition during the spring and early summer 2007 was interrupted by positive salinity anomalies in the upper central Pacific, which working together with the Bjerknes positive feedback, contributed to the development of the La Niña event. 

The other interesting aspect of that data file on the Nino34 SST is the May 2021 was cooler than May 1854. So all that Globull Warming in almost two centuries and nothing to show for it.

March 8, 2022 7:39 pm

The impacts of climate change is not the extra rain or the extra floods. It is the extra DAMAGE.

To make the damage of rainfall/ floods/ sea level more, damage models need both the flooded area to grow and more people to move to the flooded area.
This is the only way SLR and Flooding causes significant damage in places such as Dhaka.

WRT to QLD, maybe only 2-5% people are impacted by floods.
As the population increase, the extra population is not moving to flooded areas.
So over time percentage of people living in flood areas reduces.

March 8, 2022 9:40 pm

If those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, what about those who falsify the past? They get more funding?

Richard Page
Reply to  Martin
March 9, 2022 3:08 pm

Didn’t they used to get tarred and feathered at one time? Couldn’t do that again – use of fossil fuels and endangering bird populations?

Tombstone Gabby
March 8, 2022 10:37 pm

 Models based on pattern analysis of historical data would be more accurate. “

I believe that this was the methodology used by Inigo Jones, noted in the mid – 20th century for ‘long-range’ forecasts.

Geoff Sherrington
March 8, 2022 11:48 pm

There is a general problem now becoming more visible and worrying, loosely phrased as “Where are all the young people who should be independently analysing matters like rainfall, flood, drought, temperatures etc., to check on the accuracy and veracity of official statements and policy proposals?
While I am a graduate scientist, like Jennifer is, like Dr Bill Johnston of bomwatch is, some of us are not but continue to do remarkable, good work, like Ken Stewart of Kenskingdom, like Chris Gillham of waclimate web site and a few more who know who they are. But, none of us is still in the first flush of youth any more – so where is the next generation of scientists and particularly citizen scientists who are right now learning the methods, the paths to past data, the ways to analyse it, the history of past strange events like ACORN-SAT and so on?
Youngsters, you are not completely with it until you have studied the conflicts, like Dr Peter Ridd having to go all the way to our High Court because he stated that more inclusive data were needed in studies of the Great Barrier Reef.
C’mon, you Aussie youngsters, there is a wealth of really interesting climate material to play detectives with, to find out for yourselves just how things get crook in Tallarook.
Geoff S

March 9, 2022 11:42 am

I lived in the “outback” (Woomera, SA) for two years, 1971-1973. The first year, one of the sports was chasing kangaroos on motorcycles (us, not the kangaroos) across dry lake beds. The second year, the sport was waterskiing on the formerly dry lakes. Along with the rain, the humidity increased (naturally!) making swamp cooler air conditioners virtually useless in 120F summer temps.

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