Rain drenches Tasmania as part of one of wettest Octobers on record

Date: 2021-10-29 08:50:23

Tasmania is on track to chalk up one of its wettest Octobers on record, with another deluge hitting the area on Friday. 

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Brooke Oakley said October was not likely to be the state’s wettest on record — but it would not fall far short.

“It will definitely be one of the wettest Octobers on record and, in terms of how much above-average [rainfall] we’ve seen, for the east coast of Tasmania, it’s generally 100 millimetres or more above average,” she said. 

“We do, at this time of year, often have lows impacting Tasmania, bringing relatively heavy rain. What is unusual is that we’ve had four events like this already in October.

“It seems especially wet for people because it just keeps happening again and again.”

In Hobart, 97 millimetres of rain has already fallen this month, not including the latest downpour, 36mm above average for October. 

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Launceston has also had twice its average October rainfall, with 102mm falling already this month. 

Ms Oakley said a series of lows moving over the state was behind the rain. 

“That’s why it’s particularly affected the eastern half of Tasmania.”

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Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Andrew Marshall said that trend of higher rainfall would continue on the east coast, but the state’s west coast would be drier than average. 

The next three months are also set to be wetter than usual for the east coast. 

Ms Oakley also predicted the rain that fell overnight would break single-day records at weather stations across the state. 

About 30-60 millimetres of rain fell across the state overnight. Another 10-30 millimetres was predicted to fall on Friday afternoon. 

Thursday night’s downpour caused flooding that shut two schools — Bothwell District and Molesworth Primary — as well at the West Coast Community Services Hub. 

Two teenage girls were swimming in the flooded Elizabeth River at Campbell Town on Thursday night, prompting a warning from Tasmania Police not to enter or drive into flooded areas.

Several roads around the state were also closed due to floods and fallen trees. 

In a statement released at 7pm, the bureau said “immediate threat of severe weather has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary”.

Keep up with the warnings with ABC Emergency

Authorities have urged people to move livestock and equipment to higher ground if it is safe to do so.(Supplied: Karen Stephenson-Hamilton)

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