Rain good news, just not enough

IT was only a sprinkling - barely enough to dampen the dust, according to weatherman Peter Duff.

But in rain-deprived Rockhampton, every drop is welcome.

The good news is that 4mm fell at Rockhampton Airport in the 24 hours to 9am yesterday. There are unconfirmed reports that Frenchville got as much as 15mm.

The bad news is that, with the possible exception of a light shower this morning, we are in for another dry spell, and the long-term forecast to the end of the year is that it will be drier and warmer than normal.

Bureau forecaster Mr Duff said Rockhampton's total rainfall this month was just 10mm, well below the monthly average of 50mm.

And there was now a distinct possibility that 2009 would be the city's driest on record.

There was some much-needed heavy rain in Central Queensland, however.

Capella, in the Central Highlands, copped 97mm and the bad weather disrupted electricity supplies to about 740 customers. Ergon drafted in a helicopter to help repair crews.

Some homes were without power from 5pm on Monday until 1.20am on Tuesday after a ferocious storm brought down power lines near the Capella water treatment plant.

Ergon's area operations manager Steve Harris said there were also problems for 104 customers at Comet, while rural lines near Clermont and Dysart also failed.

The lightning, high winds and heavy rain in places prompted a warning from the Government for Queenslanders to prepare for the storm and cyclone season.

Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robinson said: “Cyclone season is upon us and, in a state that is all too familiar with extreme weather, we all need to take responsibility and ensure our house and family are well prepared.

“It's important for people to tidy their yards and make sure no loose garden furniture, toys, building materials or dead branches are lying around that could become projectiles during a storm.

“We also ask people to trim back trees and remove overhanging branches which can affect powerlines,” he said.

Where the rain fell
Rockhampton …4mm
Byfield …6mm
Yeppoon …0.2mm
Anakie …13mm
Capella …97mm
Comet …6mm
Emerald …3mm
Moranbah …1mm
St Lawrence …14mm
Alpha …34mm
Barcaldine …14mm

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