Australia

You’d need a rain gauge taller than Shaq: Sydney’s annual rainfall now above two metres

Sydney is in the midst of its wettest year on record, with rainfall levels taller than NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.
About 2.2 metres of rain has fallen on the NSW capital so far this year, or to be precise, 2,199.8mm, which is 39.8mm more than Shaq’s height.

The previous annual record of 2,194mm of rain, which had stood since 1950, was broken at 12.30pm on Thursday after 27.2mm of rain fell at Sydney’s Observatory Hill Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) station since 9 am.

About 2.2 metres of rain has fallen on the NSW capital so far this year, or to be precise, 2,199.8mm, which is 39.8mm more than Shaq’s height. Source: SBS News

The bulk of the rain fell in about 90 minutes, beginning at 11 am.

With nearly three months remaining in 2022 and the declaration of by the BoM in September, more rain is expected to fall before the end of the year, further inflating the record.
Sydney had its wettest July on record this year after only two weeks, passing the 1950 record of 336.1mm on the way to a total of 404mm.

March broke a 1942 record of 521.4mm when 554mm fell.

Climate change responsible for heavy rainfall

Experts say a warmer climate is to blame for Syndey’s rainfall record.
In the past 100 years, the average temperature in the harbour city has increased by 1.47 degrees.

“That means we can hold a hell of a lot more water in the atmosphere, meaning we’re more likely to see heavy rainfall events,” the BoM’s Gabrielle Woodhouse told reporters.

For the remainder of spring through summer, the weather bureau is expecting the rainy conditions to persist.

“We’re probably not going to see that break down until we see La Niña start to weaken and move back into neutral territory,” Ms Woodhouse said.

Much of western NSW on flood alert

The ongoing deluge will see rivers on and west of the Great Dividing Range hit by moderate to major flooding, affecting towns including Tamworth, Dubbo and Bathurst.
There is a severe weather warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms across inland NSW, with no reprieve in sight this week.
The SES’ shift to the Australian Warning System last month is seeing its first test, with Advice and Watch and Act warnings issued around the state.
Flood Recovery Minister Steph Cooke said flood threats across the state had more than 500 SES volunteers in the field.

“Our landscapes are entirely saturated, our dams are basically full, and the river systems, those channels, are also full,” she said.

Farmers are concerned the latest deluge will destroy another crop and graziers have been warned to shelter their stock from the wind and rain.
“There is a risk of losses of lambs and sheep exposed to these conditions,” the BOM warned.
Many NSW towns are dealing with renewed flooding, including the town of Warren, where major flooding is occurring again on the Macquarie River.
“It hasn’t been hammering with rain, but we have had such a lot of rain consistently, basically since Christmas, that it just doesn’t have a chance to dry out,” Macquarie Caravan Park owner Carolyn Monkley told AAP.

“Rainfall here is totally different to rainfall on the coast. A couple of inches out here makes it very very … soggy.”

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