Jim Andrews

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Oswald Brings Big Wet to Northern Australia

January 22, 2013; 8:25 AM ET

The first big outburst of monsoon rain has pelted northern Queensland, having gotten a big boost from Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Flooding and some wind damage have proven disruptive for some residents of the Cape York Peninsula.

A moderate tropical cyclone, Oswald landed from the Gulf of Carpentaria early Tuesday morning, local time, near Kowanyama, spreading torrential rain over much of Cape York.

Road closures left some areas isolated, the Australian ABC website said. Torrential rain damaged a runway, shutting the Kowanyama airport, and the airstrip at Pormpuraaw was flooded, the ABC said.

Hundreds of properties were left without power following high winds, ABC said. Gusts as high as 100 km/h buffeted Weipa, and rainfall since Sunday was about 390 mm (more than 15 inches), for instance.

Meanwhile, torrential rain struck near Cairns, in the northeast of Queensland, triggering flooding south of the city. Since Sunday, rainfall of at least 300 mm (about 12 inches) was widespread in the area, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) website showed. A rain gauge at Bulgan Creek collected 614 mm, or 24.2 inches.

Landfall on Tropical Cyclone Oswald on the western Cape York Peninsula from the Gulf of Carpentaria, as of early Tuesday morning, local time. Adverse impact, mostly as torrential rain, was spread along both sides of the peninsula as well as some areas inland. (Image credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology)

Weather records accessed by AccuWeather.com showed that rainfall thus far in the rainy season has been below normal in northern Queensland. The rainfall was welcome for some, including livestock graziers on area cattle stations.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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