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Todd River flows after Alice Springs deluge

Anthony Sharwood, Monday March 25, 2024 - 11:25 AEDT


Just look at all that water as the normally dry Todd River surges through Alice Springs after the iconic Northern Territory outback city received a three-day deluge.





Image: It's actually a river, not just a dry riverbed for once. Source: Brittany Kay (@britt_._bratt on Instagram).




Over the three days ending 9 am Monday, Alice Springs received 43.2 mm, 63.8 mm, and 47.8 mm.


That’s a total of 154.8 mm in three days, which brings the city's running March 2024 total to 196.2 mm after two solid days of rain to start the month.


That makes it the city's wettest three-day March spell in 36 years.


It was also the wettest three-day spell in any month since January 2015.




To put that in perspective:


The average annual rainfall in Alice Springs in records going back to 1940 is 284.5 mm, while the March average is 30.9 mm.


So within the last three days, Alice Springs has received around 54% of its annual average rainfall and five times its average March rainfall.






Source: Brittany Kay (@britt_._bratt on Instagram).


NT Police Incident Controller Sonia Kennon said the Todd River was flowing at a "rate of knots". And that people should avoid entering it.


"There is unknown debris that you can get trapped underneath, there are currents in there that you cannot predict, and it's just really, really dangerous," she said.


Why so much rain?


Rain can fall in Alice Springs in any month, but winter is typically the driest time of year while heavy downpours with tropical origins are always possible in the period from November through to March.


That’s been the story this week, as moisture from the remnants of ex-Tropical Cyclone Megan has soaked Central Australia, helped along by northerly winds blowing moisture from the Arafura Sea. A trough over the NT cradled by a broad high in the Great Australian Bight has also been a factor.





Image: No crocs, but plenty of other hazards. Source: Brittany Kay (@britt_._bratt on Instagram).


Further heavy showers are possible in the Alice Springs area this Monday, with the chance of lighter showers throughout the week as the rain potential gradually eases.


A flood watch remains in force for Central and Southern parts of the Northern Territory.


- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2024

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