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Third driest start to wet season for Broome as totals sit at just 20.2mm for January

Sam JonesBroome Advertiser
So far this season, just 20.8mm of rainfall has been recorded at the Broome Airport Station.
Camera IconSo far this season, just 20.8mm of rainfall has been recorded at the Broome Airport Station. Credit: Broome Advertiser /Tom Zaunmayr

With wet season deluges well under way throughout the East Kimberley, Northern Territory and Queensland, Broome residents are grappling with one of the driest starts to a wet season on record.

So far this season, just 20.8mm has been recorded at the Broome Airport Station — 20.2mm of which came in January.

It’s the third lowest January rainfall total to be recorded at the airport station, with just the 1987-88 (9.4mm) and 1978-79 (5.4mm) seasons being drier.

Bureau of Meteorology community information officer Daniel Hayes said while it had been a dry start to the season, there was still hope for the rest of the season.

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“In Northern WA these wet season totals often depend on single weather events like a cyclone or a low,” he said.

“And there just hasn’t been any of those systems near Broome yet this season.

“When you compare it to similar patterns of previous dry years, like 1987-88, there are sometimes large rainfall events into March or even April which can help increase totals.”

In stark contrast to Broome, parts of the Pilbara have been inundated in recent weeks, with the Fortescue River reaching a record-breaking 5.36m from a tropical low last week.

The heavy rainfall dumped nearly 200mm in the major mining town of Newman, more than four times the average January rainfall of 45.8mm.

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