Welcome to our fourteenth wet season wrap up for Northern Australia where we take a look at Northern Australian towns/cities and go through their previous wet season. In October, we continue our features by speculating at what the early modelling might be showing for the upcoming 2019/2020 wet season for these locations so become a subscriber, show your support and get access to this exclusive information. Today we head to the Central Queensland city of Bundaberg (pop approx 69 000)
Bundaberg a regional city centre located near the southern edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The city lies at the southern edge of Central Queensland about 400km north of Brisbane. It's best known for its rum distillery - being the major export centre for the aptly named Bundaberg Rum. However it is also a centre for agriculture with sugar cane being the major crop in the area. Rainfall here is generally abundant with falls averaging around a metre a year. The area lies in a humid sub-tropical climate classification area. Bundaberg has a wet season between November and April and Drier Season, but not quite as dry a dry season as we see in areas further north. The months between November and April see around 720mm of rain while the dry season months grab a further 350mm of rain. The city lies too far south for the monsoon to influence it, but it can lie in a perfect spot for South-East/North-East convergence zones when the monsoon travels far enough southwards. The city can also receive solid thunderstorm activity with the passage of a trough system, occasionally these storms can be severe.
The 2018/19 wet season was much drier than average for Bundaberg despite a promising start in October.
WET SEASON 2018/19 RAINFALL Bundaberg saw a below average wet season in 2018/19 but it didn't start out that way. October gave the region lots of false hope. 164mm fell during the month with the highlight being the 11th to the 13th October, where the city copped three storms over three days dumping 125mm and winds up to 65km/hr.
The strong start was to be the last bit of interesting weather for the area until a storm hit the city on December 4th with the strongest wind gust of the season reported on December 4th at 2:45PM - a gust of 85km/hr and a quickfire 10mm of rain hit the city. Further significant rainfall was recorded on the 15th (21mm) and 23rd (18mm) December, but this still left the city sitting high and dry compared to what they should have been getting in December. Following in the footsteps of December came a bone dry January, just 7mm of rain was recorded the entire month. This was 5mm above the driest ever January and a miserly 3% of the average. The first half of February saw showers impact the city on a daily basis but there was no substance to them and combined 11 of the first 12 days of February saw rain but the total of those 11 rain days was a meager 51mm. The back half of the month did not see a drop of rain fall on the city.
In March and April we saw the typical South-Easterly trades establish themselves in the area, and they carried sufficient moisture to see semi- regular showers across the two months. Even with this activity the best the city could muster was a slightly below average March and April. It was a very disappointing season for this area and unfortunately the news doesn't look much better for the upcoming season. SUBSCRIBERS - make sure you check out our 2019/2020 draft cyclone outlook issued September 10 2019.
TROPICAL CYCLONE IMPACTS
There were no Tropical Cyclone impacts on Bundaberg in season 2018/19
The negative rain anomalies of the season corresponded with positive temperature anomalies making this a relatively dry and hot wet season for Bundy. The temperature departures were most noticeable during the days with every single wet season monthly mean maximum being higher than normal.
While the days and nights were generally warmer than normal there were no temperature highlights all season making this a relatively uninteresting season temperature wise. However the combination of drier than normal conditions, warmer than normal conditions have exacerbated the drought issue in the area. As if that wasn't bad enough, since the end of the wet season, this past Winter has been much drier than normal and continues to remain warmer than normal.
Tomorrow night we move north to Mackay.
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