Tweed Heads rainfall recorder Wal Smith says the distribution of the past year’s rainfall has been astonishing.
Tweed Heads rainfall recorder Wal Smith says the distribution of the past year’s rainfall has been astonishing. Blainey Woodham

It hasn't half been wet!

THIS past year was the wettest of the noughties.

But it is the distribution of the rain that has Tweed Heads rainfall recorder Wal Smith questioning the clouds.

According to the 79-year-old’s data, 1498mm fell in Tweed Heads in the first six months of the year, but only 253mm fell in the remaining half of the year, with 70mm of that being accumulated in the final days of December.

“It hasn’t been this one-sided since 1941,” Mr Smith said.

“The final rainfall figure for the year is about average, it’s just the distribution of it that is amazing.

“It’s extraordinary to see so much rainfall in the first six months of the year but so little in comparison in the remaining half.”

In total, Tweed Heads experienced 1751mm over the year.

Mr Smith lives in Tweed Heads, so has slightly different figures than in the table opposite, which are measured in Murwillumbah.

According to the latest figures, 1842mm of rain fell over Murwillumbah this past year.

May was the wettest month of the year with 328mm of rain being recorded in Murwillumbah.

Wild weather at the time uprooted trees, caused floods and even tore the roof off a house in Banora Point.

Not a drop of water fell in August, just two months later.

This past year’s total rainfall surpassed 2008’s total rainfall of 1764mm.

The driest year of the decade was 2002 with just 768mm of rain for the whole year.

According to a seasonal rainfall outlook done by the Bureau of Meteorology, the Tweed can expect a 35 per cent chance of exceeding the median rainfall between January and March this year.

It has been heavily influenced by the El Nino pattern of higher than average temperatures across the central to eastern Pacific Ocean.

This means that for every ten years with ocean patterns like the current, about six or seven March quarters are expected to be drier than average in the region, while about three or four are wetter.

Mr Smith has been a rainfall reader since 1988.



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