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Widespread flooding after a year’s worth of rain in just three days, South Australia

south-australia-record-rainfall-flood-january-2022

Widespread flooding is affecting South Australia after parts of the state received more than a year's worth of rain in just three days. Severe thunderstorms with heavy rainfall are expected to continue this week.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) senior meteorologist Kylie Evans said there were a number of daily rainfall records set, including 181 mm (7.12 inches) at Winter Springs near Cowell, and 160 mm (6.29 inches) in Kimba, both on January 21, and 86 mm (3.38 inches) in Kadina on January 23.1

There were also new January daily rainfall records set across a number of locations, including Wharminda with 71 mm (2.79 inches), Yardea 70.4 mm (2.77 inches), and Leigh Creek 93 mm (3.66 inches)

This rare rainfall event has been attributed to a slow-moving upper low pressure front across the Great Australian Bite, with a deep tropical moisture and a surface trough.

Dryland grain grower Leigh Fitzgerald has recorded 320 mm (12.59 inches) of rain on his farm in Buckleboo on the Eyre Peninsula in three days to January 24 – beating his usual annual average of 300 mm (11.8 inches) in just three days.1

On January 21, his farm received 170 mm (6.69 inches) of rain more than what he recorded in entire 2019.

In 7 days to January 24, Winter Springs registered 228.4 mm (8.99 inches), Kimba 200.8 mm (7.90 inches), Mt. Ive 181 mm (7.12 inches) and Buckleboo 177.7 mm (6.99 inches).2

The most rain in 24 hours to 09:00 LT on January 24 was registered at Price — 108.4 mm (4.26 inches).

Kadina broke the highest daily rain record and Minlaton, Edithburgh and Cape Borda broke January daily rainfall records.

Image credit: BOM

A number of roads were flooded or destroyed in the Far North and Eyre Peninsula after record rainfall hit the region, the South Australia Police reports.2

Entire towns were cut off from the rest of the state.

After three days of heavy rainfall, a rare whirlpool formed in the remote outback:

BOM's Kylie Egan said the rainfall event was rare and significant, with a huge impact to South Australia. "It's something we don't see every year," Egan said.

References:

1 Flooding in South Australia after annual rainfall is dumped in just three days – The Islander

2 Australian Bureau of Meteorology – South Australia

3 SA Australia Police

Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA, TW. Acquired at 00:10 UTC on January 24, 2022.

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