A “Rain Bomb” storm system struck eastern Australia this weekend, flooding out Australia’s third largest city of Brisbane. Exceptionally heavy rain was responsible for at least 9 deaths; over 1,400 homes in the capital of the Queensland state were at risk of flooding while 28,000 other homes stood in the dark from flood-related power outages. Tens of thousands of people have had to evacuate to higher ground.
Australians refer to the massive flooding event as a “rain bomb.” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the rainfall over Brisbane has been unusually dry since November; so much so they considered water restrictions. However, heavy rain this weekend has overwhelmed the region. State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, “we never expected this rain. This rain bomb is just really, you know, it’s unrelenting … It’s just coming down in buckets.”
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology reports that rain was falling at rates of about a foot a day. More intense heavy rains are expected over eastern Australia for at least the next week. Some areas have picked up more than 5 feet of rain since Thursday morning. Due to the extreme heavy rain, various flood alerts continue over a large part of eastern Australia. In a typical year, Brisbane gets an annual total of 47.2″ of rain; many neighborhoods are seeing more rain this weekend than they typically see all year.
Highest rain total since 9am Thu – 1,416mm (56inches) at Mt Glorious, Qld.
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) February 26, 2022
February marks the middle of Australia’s summer season; in the coming weeks, autumn will arrive, setting the stage for winter while the Northern Hemisphere is expecting the opposite.