DARK AND STORMY: Ominous skies over the sugar cane in Proserpine in December.
DARK AND STORMY: Ominous skies over the sugar cane in Proserpine in December. Monique Prestone

Penny brings rainfall, but 2018 was hot and dry

LASHINGS of rain whipped the region as Ex-Tropical Cyclone Penny descended on the Whitsundays Tuesday night.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for the region on Sunday, when the system was located in the Coral Sea tracking towards Townsville, with the warning lifted Thursday.

An unofficial BoM reading recorded 109mm of rainfall in Strathdickie at 9am Wednesday morning and 105mm at Lower Gregory River.

Proserpine Airport recorded 80mm of rainfall in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday.

This was by far the highest rainfall in the area from the ex-cyclone, with only 0.2mm recorded until 9am on Tuesday and a further 3mm until 9am Thursday.

BoM meteorologist Gordon Banks said the highest rainfall for the region was recorded overnight Tuesday in Preston.

"We saw falls overnight in Preston record 191mm in the 24 hours to 9am Wednesday morning," he said.

"Preston actually received 167 of the 191mm between 8pm and 2am, which generated a little bit of flash flooding in the area."

A maximum wind speed of 41km/h was recorded at the Proserpine Airport, just before 4pm on Tuesday and 54km/h on Monday evening.

Meanwhile, Proserpine had a mainly hot and dry year last year. The town recorded its hottest day on record last year when the temperature soared to 44.9 degrees Celsius on November 26.

It easily broke the town's previous record of 42.9C, which occurred in 1995.

It was a month of heat records in the town, as a heatwave over a week saw two other days beat the previous record.

November 28 saw the mercury rise to 44.3C, while on November 27 it was 43C.

The coldest day in 2018 occurred on June 19, when the temperature only reached 21.7C.

This was well above the coldest night on record for Proserpine where the temperature only climbed to 12.8C on June 21, 2007.

Proserpine's hottest night-time temperature for the year was 25.9C.

This temperature was recorded on three nights - January 2, November 26 and December 22.

The coldest night for the year occurred on August 21 when the temperature plummeted to a chilly 0.9C.

While very cold, this is not the coldest night ever in town.

That honour goes to July 20, 1994 when the mercury only reached 0.9C.

Proserpine saw a pretty dry year with only 1362.8mm of rain recorded for the whole year.

Very little rain fell between May and the start of December, with all bar one of those months seeing less than 8mm recorded, including August, which was completely dry.

The most daily rainfall occurred in the 24 hours until 9am on December 5, when 71.8mm fell.

It was far less than the wettest day on record when 370.6mm fell on December 31, 1990.


Hottest day: 44.9C, November 26.

Coldest day: 21.7C, June 19.

Hottest night: 25.9C, January 2, November 26 and December 22.

Coldest night: 0.9C, August 21.

Highest rainfall: 71.8mm, December 5 compares with 370.6mm, December 31, 1990.