brochure describes the flood
warning system operated by the Australian Government, Bureau of
Meteorology for the Warrego River. It includes reference information
which will be useful for understanding Flood Warnings and River Height
Bulletins issued by the Bureau's Flood Warning Centre during periods of
high rainfall and flooding.
The Warrego River catchment is located in south west Queensland and north west New South Wales and covers an area of approximately 65,000 square kilometres. The upper Warrego consists of a number of tributary rivers including the Nive, Ward and Langlo Rivers which join the main stream above and below Charleville. Major towns located on the Warrego are Augathella, Charleville, Wyandra and Cunnamulla. Cunnamulla township has a levee constructed around the town for flood protection to at least 10.5 metres on the flood gauge. More recently the Murweh Shire Council constructed a large levee system and creek diversion of Bradley's Gully in Charleville which protected the town from the 2012 flood event.
The Warrego River has a well documented history of flooding with records of the larger floods dating back to 1910. The figures below shows the significant flood peaks which have occurred at Charleville and Cunnamulla since records began.
The Bureau of Meteorology operates a flood warning system for the Warrego River basin based on a rainfall and river height observations network shown on the map. The network consists of a number of volunteer rainfall and river height observers who forward observations by telephone when the initial flood height has been exceeded at their station, as well as automatic telephone telemetry stations which are operated by the Bureau of Meteorology, the Murweh Shire Council and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
The Bureau's Flood Warning Centre issues Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins for the Warrego River during flood events. Quantitative flood forecasts are issued when moderate flood levels are likely to be exceeded at Augathella, Charleville, Bakers Bend, Murweh, Wyandra and Cunnamulla Bridge.
The Murweh and Paroo Shire Councils mayb be able to provide further information on flooding in your area of the Warrego River catchment.
They also have further information on local flooding in rural areas throughout the catchment. In particular, flood inundation maps are available for Augathella and Charleville in the report of the Western Queensland Towns Flood Study, which was undertaken following the April 1990 floods.
Warrego ALERT System
The Warrego ALERT system was installed in 2013 as a cooperative project between the Bureau of Meteorology and the Murweh Shire Council. The system comprises a network of rainfall and river height field stations which report via VHF radio to base station computers in Charleville. The field stations send reports for every 1 millimetre of rainfall and every 50 millimetre change in river height. The Warrego network has over 14 field stations, some of which measure rainfall and river height, some measure rainfall only. The base station computer collects the data and has software that displays it in graphical and tabular form. The data is on forwarded to the Bureau's Flood Warning Centre where it is used in hydrologic models to produce river height predictions.
Flood Warnings and Bulletins
The Bureau of Meteorology issues Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins for the Warrego River regularly during floods. They are sent to radio stations for broadcast, and to local Councils, emergency services and a large number of other agencies involved in managing flood response activities. Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins are available via :
Internet/World Wide Web
Interpreting Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins
Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins contain observed river heights for a selection of the river height monitoring locations. The time at which the river reading has been taken is given together with its tendency (e.g. rising, falling, steady or at its peak). The Flood Warnings may also contain predictions in the form of minor, moderate or major flooding for a period in the future. River Height Bulletins also give the height above or below the road bridge or causeway for each river station located near a road crossing.
One of the simplest ways of understanding what the actual or predicted river height means is to compare the height given in the Warning or Bulletin with the height of previous floods at that location.
The table below summarises the flood history of the
Warrego River basin - it contains the flood gauge heights of the more
significant recent floods.
Historical flood heights for all river stations in the Warrego River Floodwarning network, as shown on the map, are available from the Bureau of Meteorology upon request.
At each flood warning river height station, the severity of flooding is described as minor, moderate or major according to the effects caused in the local area or in nearby downstream areas. Terms used in Flood Warnings are based on the following definitions.
Each river height station has a pre-determined flood classification which details heights on gauges at which minor, moderate and major flooding commences. Other flood heights may also be defined which indicate at what height the local road crossing or town becomes affected by floodwaters.
The table below shows the flood classifications for selected river height stations in the Warrego River catchment.
(B) = Bridge (O) = Old Bridge (A) = Approaches (C) = Causeway (X) = Crossing (W) = Weir
The above details are correct at the time of preparing this document. Up-to-date flood classifications and other details for all flood warning stations in the network are at:
For the latest rainfall and river height conditions please use the following link:
For the latest rainfall and river height network map please use the following link:Network maps
For further information, contact: