Gladstone has recorded 527.9mm of rain so far in 2020. The average rainfall for the port city is 886.5mm.
Gladstone has recorded 527.9mm of rain so far in 2020. The average rainfall for the port city is 886.5mm.

How does Gladstone’s 2020 rainfall compare?

GLADSTONE has already experienced a wetter 2020 than last year, with 527.8mm of rain recorded at the airport weather station and a La Nina predicted by the weather bureau.

Many residents will welcome the predicted increased rain, with areas experience crunchy grass under foot, dry soil and plants desperate for a drink.

Meteorologist Kimba Wong said the predicted La Nina climate pattern could bring higher volumes of above average rainfall further away from the coast.

Ms Wong said coastal areas including Gladstone, Yeppoon and Bargara had a 65 per cent chance of increased rain based on the predicted forecast.

“La Nina tends to mean an early onset to the wet season and a slightly wetter wet season than you would normally have,” she said.

“It generally tends to increase rainfall in particularly spring, but into early summer as well.”

In 2019, Gladstone recorded only 477.2mm of rain according to the Bureau of Meteorology Gladstone weather station.

The driest year on record for Gladstone between 1957 and 2020 was 1965, when only 432.5mm of precipitation fell.

Awoonga Dam, pictured on Thursday, December 12, 2019, at 69 per cent capacity.
Awoonga Dam, pictured on Thursday, December 12, 2019, at 69 per cent capacity.

The average yearly rainfall for Gladstone based on long-term statistics is 886.5mm.

The highest rainfall Gladstone has received was in 1971, when a massive 1731.6mm fell.

According to statistics, the wettest month for Gladstone is traditionally January, with an average of 147.9mm and a record of 841.4mm in 2013.

February is traditionally the second wettest month with 138mm on average and a record of 709.8mm in the record-breaking 1971 summer.

In December, Gladstone can typically expect an average of 124.3mm, with 1962 being the wettest on record when 508.9mm fell.

This December figure puts Gladstone on target to receive less rain than the average since 1957.

At 11am on Tuesday, the Gladstone Area Water Board listed dam capacity at 60 per cent, or 466,870 megalitres.

Many long-term locals believe the weather in Gladstone is influenced by heat output by industries in the region, which creates a “Simpson’s style dome” over the port city.

The Bureau of Meteorology dispelled this urban myth last month, saying the shape of the coastline being more east-west rather than north-south, resulted in less rain falling in Gladstone.

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