680mm in 24 hours: Record rain floods fire-ravaged Queensland

EX-Tropical Cyclone Owen has dumped more than half a metre of rain in parts of Far North Queensland, just two weeks after the region was scorched by fire.

Halifax, near Ingham, received an astonishing 681mm of rain in just 24 hours.

The town was just one of four locations between Cairns and Townsville to receive close to or more than 500mm of rain in the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday.


More than 550mm fell on the Cardwell Range, while 500mm fell at Lucinda. Ingham received 485mm.

The totals represent new daily rainfall records for both Halifax and Cardwell Range, while Lucinda recorded its highest rainfall total for a December day.

The huge totals were triggered by ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen as the system reached the state’s east coast late on Saturday after tracking across the state’s north.

It comes just 17 days after the region sweltered through an unprecedented heatwave and experienced one its worst ever fire emergencies.

Half a dozen bushfires burned around Cardwell in late November as the mercury soared into 40s for several straight days.

Bureau of Meteorology Weather Services Manager for Queensland Richard Wardle said Owen was still a very deep low late on Sunday afternoon, after moving offshore just north of Townsville overnight.

“The heaviest falls are expected to continue easing over the next two days, however coastal communities between Mackay and the northern Wide Bay are still likely to experience heavy rain,” said Dr Wardle.

While not related to ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen, parts of southeast Queensland are also seeing significant rainfall, with more than 150mm falling at Pomona on the Sunshine Coast in the 24 hours to 9am Sunday.