Flooding in Conway Street, Lismore in March 2107.
Flooding in Conway Street, Lismore in March 2107. Contributed Yokok Hendrix

4 intense weather events on the Northern Rivers in 2017

FROM Cyclone Debbie to widespread drought-like conditions, the Northern Rivers was hit with some extreme weather in 2017:

Cyclone Debbie

It was the cyclone that just kept on going.

Debbie made landfall near Airlie Beach as a category 4 system on March 28 with wind gusts of 263 kilometres per hour recorded at some locations.

But Debbie didn't stop there, leaving a trail of drenching rain as it made its way down the Queensland coast and across the New South Wales border.

The flooding made its way to Lismore, where a whopping 324.8 millimetres fell in 18 hours, leading to the highest river levels since 1974 and at least waist-high flooding in the CBD when the town's levee breached.

The effects of the event are still felt by residents and businesses today.

Media reports attributed nine deaths to Tropical Cyclone Debbie in Australia.

Record Winter Heat

Northern Rivers residents lived through the hottest winter on record last year.

Dry conditions were experienced in winter 2017 on the North Coast and the driest September state-wide. This came on the back of a dry July and August and led to an early start to bushfire season.

For NSW, it was the third-warmest winter on record with the maximum temperature recorded 1.59C above average, the warmest since 2013.

It was also the driest in 15 years.

Northern Rivers towns did not receive sufficient rainfall for months leaving tank owners without water and carriers backlogged for six weeks at times.

Cold start to November

Summer arrived late last year.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the lowest recorded temperatures for November 2017 were lower than the previous month's daily recorded lowest temperatures on most days.

The lowest recorded temperature for Lismore in that month was 11.3C on November 1 and the highest low was From Cyclone Debbie to widespread drought, we look back at 2017's weather extremes:

Intense storms

Early November also brought heavy rainfall and SES volunteers were busy keeping residents safe.

On November 5 and 6 more than 2000 homes were without power after storms swept the region.

The storms brought large hailstones and left widespread damage.

November's average minimum temperature from 2002 to 2017 was 15.5C , and the average maximum temperature was 28.7C.



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