Australian Weather Calendar


Flash flood waters rush down Spencer Street in central Melbourne on 6 March 2010, as stranded commuters watch on from Southern Cross Station. The Bureau of Meteorology rain radar loop shows the storm that brought Melbourne to a standstill.
Flash flood waters rush down Spencer Street in central Melbourne on 6 March 2010, as stranded commuters watch on from Southern Cross Station.      Picture: NOREEN TAMOR The Bureau of Meteorology rain radar loop shows the storm that brought Melbourne to a standstill.

September: Publication may engineer a better built environment

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WHEN designing any structure that might be affected by floods, civil engineers need to know the likely frequency, intensity and duration of rainfall at a particular location. This information (for all of Australia) is published in Australian Rainfall and Runoff, and is based on analyses by and data from the Bureau of Meteorology. In Canberra, for instance, rain with an intensity of 107 millimetres an hour will be sustained for 20 minutes, once in every 100 years.

Australian Rainfall and Runoff was last updated in 1987, but since then a huge amount of rainfall data has been collected by the bureau and other agencies. The bureau is now updating the data for the publication, which is expected to be completed by late 2011. Civil engineers will then have access to far more accurate estimates of rainfall for use in engineering design.