Early Dry Spell Saves Australia from Worst of 2013 Floods

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 5, 2013 3:43 PM EST

If for any consolation to those affected by the recent floods of ex-cyclone Oswald, the flooding disaster would have been far more catastrophic had it not been for the dry spell that Australia experienced in late 2012, according to the weather bureau.

The dry spell earlier experienced in much of the areas at the eastern Australian late last year up to the first weeks of January proved to be beneficial.

Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, cited Brisbane as en example. He said its catchment held a little more rain over the wettest one and two days compared to what it trapped during the 2011 floods.

"It was a really significant rainfall event in that catchment," Dr Trewin said. But the big difference was that "the lead-up period was quite dry" versus from 2011, he stressed.

The Burnett catchment of Bundaberg, one of the hardest hit in Queensland, received the most amount of rainfall, averaging at 204.1 millimetres on January 27. It surpassed by 70 per cent the previous record, the bureau said.

While the Clarence catchment in New South Wales likewise received record flood peaks, some towns such as Grafton were spared from floods. The highest flood levels reached only 2 centimetres short of Grafton's maximum level.

Much of those heavily affected by the floods were in far north Queensland to the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.

Read more:

Queensland 2013 Floods: Residents of Bundaberg Rebuilds, Relocates to New But Temporary Village

Queensland 2013 Floods: Donations to Victims Coming In At A Mere Trickle, Cites Donor Fatigue as One Reason

Queensland 2013 Floods Tops 2011 Tragedy

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