January 24, 2014 - Storm over central Australia

Storm over central Australia

A soggy storm system moved inland across Australia’s Top End in mid-January 2014, bringing much needed rain to cattle producers and agriculturalists, particularly in Central Australia. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of System 94S on January 17.

In this image, the center of the system sits over Western Australia while rain bands extend over the Northern Territory’s Top End and Central Australia. The system, which formed near Darwin on January 15, still shows good organization and no signs of weakening.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABM) issued flood warnings and watches as System 94S moved through, including the Interior District and the Ord River Catchment as well as a Flood Watch for the Kimberley. By January 21, Severe Weather Warnings for heavy rain were issued for the Gascoyne, Goldfields, Eucla, Southern Interior and Central Wheat Belt districts.

Between January 22 and 23, the Goldfields area received up to 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain, with 40 mm to 60 mm (1.5 in to 2.4 in) widely recorded across the region - enough to cause significant flooding in some localized areas.

The heavy rain followed an extreme heat wave across Australia, with temperatures recorded as high as 46.1 C (115°C) at Learmonth Airport in Western Australia on January 6.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 1/17/2014
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC