Brisbane Metro in January 2011: A major rain event and severe flooding

Special Climate Statement 24 (SCS 24) titled 'Frequent heavy rain events in late 2010/early 2011 lead to widespread flooding across eastern Australia' was first issued on 7th Jan 2011 and updated on 25th Jan 2011.

  • There was a major rain event between the 10th and 12th of January
  • Severe flooding, including river and flash flooding, occurred in Brisbane and nearby areas of southeast Queensland
  • Brisbane recorded its second-highest flood level of the last 100 years, after January 1974

Rainfall

Very much above average rainfall was recorded in the Brisbane metro area during January with the main weather stations all recording at least twice their long-term monthly average rainfall.

A major rain event occurred in the Brisbane Metro area between the 10th and 12th of January when an upper-level low combined with a humid easterly flow to bring very heavy rain to the area (for more information see SCS 24, page 4 and a comparison with previous events on page 7).

Severe flooding, including river and flash flooding occurred in Brisbane and nearby areas of southeast Queensland during the second week of January (for more information see SCS 24, pages, 7, 8 and 9).

The highest daily rainfall total recorded in the Brisbane Metro area during January was at Brisbane Aero with 112.6 mm on the 10th, followed by Brisbane with 110.8 mm on the 10th, followed by Amberley AMO with 110.0 mm on the 12th.

The highest monthly rainfall total recorded at any of the main weather stations in the Brisbane Metro area during January was 354.2 mm at Brisbane Aero, followed by 329.6 mm Redlands HRS, followed by 319.0 mm at Amberley AMO.

Some sites had their highest total January rainfall for at least 20 years. See a map of total rainfall. See a map of rainfall deciles.

Temperature

The highest mean temperature was recorded at the Brisbane city weather station with 25.4 C, followed by Redcliffe with 25.1 C, followed by Logan City Water Treatment Plant with 25.0 C.

The lowest mean temperature was recorded at Amberley AMO and Brisbane Aero with 24.8 C, followed by Archerfield Airport with 24.9 C.

Maximum temperature

The highest daily maximum temperature recorded in the Brisbane metro area during January were on the 18th, with 36.0 C at Amberley AMO, followed by 34.9 C at Brisbane, followed by 33.8 C at Archerfield Airport.

The warmest days on average were at Amberley AMO with 30.0 C, followed by Brisbane with 29.6 C, followed by Archerfield Airport with 29.3 C.

The coolest days on average were at Brisbane Aero with 28.3 C, followed by Redcliffe with 28.4 C, followed by Logan City Water Treatment Plant with 28.9 C.

The coldest day was at Amberley AMO with 23.3 C on the 6th, followed by Archerfield Airport with 23.7 C on the 6th, followed by Brisbane Aero with 24.1 C on the 6th.

See a map of mean maximum temperatures. See a map of maximum temperature anomalies.

Minimum temperature

The coldest night was at Redlands HRS with 15.5 C on the 4th, followed by Amberley AMO with 15.6 C on the 23rd, followed by Redlands HRS with 16.2 C on the 24th.

The coolest nights on average were at Amberley AMO with 19.7 C, followed by Archerfield Airport with 20.5 C, followed by Logan City Water Treatment Plant with 20.9 C.

The warmest nights on average were at Redcliffe with 21.7 C, followed by Brisbane and Brisbane Aero with 21.2 C, followed by Logan City Water Treatment Plant with 20.9 C.

The warmest night was at Brisbane Aero with 24.2 C on the 19th, followed by Redcliffe with 24.1 C on the 19th and 31st, followed by Redlands HRS with 24.0 C on the 11th.

See a map of mean minimum temperatures. See a map of minimum temperature anomalies.

Wind

The strongest wind gust was at Amberley AMO with 96 km/h on the 18th, followed by Redcliffe with 70 km/h on the 29th, followed by Redcliffe with 67 km/h on the 10th.

Further information

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Extremes in January 2011
Hottest day 36.0 C at Amberley AMO on the 18th
34.9 C at Brisbane on the 18th
33.8 C at Archerfield Airport on the 18th
Warmest days on average 30.0 C at Amberley AMO
29.6 C at Brisbane
29.3 C at Archerfield Airport
Coolest days on average 28.3 C at Brisbane Aero
28.4 C at Redcliffe
28.9 C at Logan City Water Treatment Plant
Coldest day 23.3 C at Amberley AMO on the 6th
23.7 C at Archerfield Airport on the 6th
24.1 C at Brisbane Aero on the 6th
Coldest night 15.5 C at Redlands HRS on the 4th
15.6 C at Amberley AMO on the 23rd
16.2 C at Redlands HRS on the 24th
Coolest nights on average 19.7 C at Amberley AMO
20.5 C at Archerfield Airport
20.9 C at Logan City Water Treatment Plant
Warmest nights on average 21.7 C at Redcliffe
21.2 C at Brisbane
21.2 C at Brisbane Aero
Warmest night 24.2 C at Brisbane Aero on the 19th
24.1 C at Redcliffe on the 19th
24.1 C at Redcliffe on the 31st
Warmest on average overall 25.4 C at Brisbane
25.1 C at Redcliffe
25.0 C at Logan City Water Treatment Plant
Coolest on average overall 24.8 C at Amberley AMO
24.8 C at Brisbane Aero
24.9 C at Archerfield Airport
Wettest overall 354.2 mm at Brisbane Aero
329.6 mm at Redlands HRS
319.0 mm at Amberley AMO
Driest overall 238.8 mm at Logan City Water Treatment Plant
269.4 mm at Archerfield Airport
315.0 mm at Redcliffe
Wettest day 112.6 mm at Brisbane Aero on the 10th
110.8 mm at Brisbane on the 10th
110.0 mm at Amberley AMO on the 12th
Highest wind gust 96 km/h at Amberley AMO on the 18th
70 km/h at Redcliffe on the 29th
67 km/h at Redcliffe on the 10th

Highest total January rainfall for at least 20 years
Total rainfall
for January 2011 (mm)
Most recent January
at least this wet
Years since
wetter
Average for
January
Amberley AMO 319.0 635.2 in 1974 35 113.6
Archerfield Airport 269.4 622.5 in 1974 34 135.0
Redlands HRS 329.6 909.7 in 1974 34 154.3



Summary statistics for January 2011
Maximum temperatures
for January
(C)
Minimum temperatures
for January
(C)
Rainfall
for January
(millimetres)
Mean for
January
2011
Diff
from
average
Highest for
January
2011
Mean for
January
2011
Diff
from
average
Lowest for
January
2011
Total for
January
2011
Average
for
January
Rank of
January
2011
Fraction of
January
average
Moreton South Coast (district 40)
Amberley AMO 30.0 -1.1 36.0 18th 19.7 +0.1 15.6 23rd 319.0 113.6 v high 281%
Archerfield Airport 29.3 -1.1 33.8 18th 20.5 +0.3 16.8 23rd 269.4 135.0 v high 200%
Brisbane 29.6 -0.7 34.9 18th 21.2 -0.2 18.8 23rd 315.8 114.3 v high 276%
Brisbane Aero 28.3 -0.7 33.5 18th 21.2 0.0 17.8 24th 354.2 123.7 v high 286%
Logan City Water Treatment Plant 28.9 -0.8 33.5 17th 20.9 +0.5 17.4 25th 238.8 115.8 v high 206%
Redcliffe* 28.4 -0.6 31.8 18th 21.7 -0.2 18.8 7th 315.0 111.6 v high 282%

Notes

A Monthly Climate Summary is prepared to list the main features of the weather in Brisbane Metro using the most timely and accurate information available on the date of publication; it will generally not be updated. Later information, including data that has had greater opportunity for quality control, will be presented in the Monthly Weather Review, usually published in the fourth week of the month.

This statement has been prepared based on information available at 11 am on Tuesday 1 February 2011. Some checks have been made on the data, but it is possible that results will change as new information becomes available.

* These sites are compared to other long-term sites in the area using the 1961 to 1990 period where available for Brisbane temperature, the 1981 to 2004 for Redcliffe temperature and all years of record for rainfall.

Averages are long-term means based on observations from all available years of record, which vary widely from site to site. They are not shown for sites with less than 9 years of record, as they cannot then be calculated reliably.
The median is sometimes more representative than the mean of long-term average rain.

The Rank indicates how rainfall this time compares with the climate record for the site, based on the decile ranking (very low rainfall is in decile 1, low in decile 2 or 3, average in decile 4 to 7, high in decile 8 or 9 and very high is in decile 10).
The Fraction of average shows how much rain has fallen this time as a percentage of the long-term mean.

No instruments from the QLD flood warning network (recognised as TM or Alert), have been used in producing daily rainfall information in this report. 

Further information

Media
(03) 9669 4057
Enquiries