It’s a while since I updated my rainfall spreadsheets for Cairns but what better time than now.
We are now over 1500 mm in Cairns for December and January. Be careful of the rolling annual average here as it includes the rain and floods last March which will roll out and so the annual average could be reversed quickly depending on the remainder of the wet season. This also follows a drier than average dry season.
Another way to look at this is monthly variation from average.
While December 2018 was not the highest rainfall it was the highest deviation from monthly average for some time and has been followed up in January. Interesting pattern and trends over the period. Last time the annual moving average was this far above the historical mean was the extreme 2011 La Nina event which brought Cyclone Yasi and widespread flooding throughout Queensland. Which is not where we currently are.
If you have followed the BOM ENSO, Weekly Tropical Notes and Cyclone Outlook it would be obvious that the BOM have flagged for some time higher levels of uncertainty for an atypical weak marginal El Nino cycle with limited historical precedent.
It will though be a tough trading environment for many businesses. The rain and floods last March brought a profit downgrade from ASX listed Experience Co with its suite of prominent local tour brands: Experience washed away in wet season. EXP will report first half results in February which will hopefully include updated commentary and outlook.
On the other hand Tinaroo is approaching full capacity for the first time in a while.
Update: The BOM appear to have overnight cut back weekend rainfall forecasts for Cairns.