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This Day in History

Australian History

Tuesday, March 14, 1989. :   Motpena, South Australia, records the state's highest ever rainfall in a single day.

     Motpena is a locality and homestead near the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, east of Lake Torrens and west of the tiny town of Parachilna. Although classified as a mid-latitude steppe, it has the distinction of receiving South Australia's highest rainfall in a single day since records have been kept.

1988 to 1990 saw a particularly wet period in many parts of Australia, with flooding in western Queensland and significant rain in the Lake Eyre basin. On 14 March 1989, Motpena recorded 272.6 mm of rainfall within a 24-hour period. It was closely followed by 247 mm at Nilpena and 246 mm at Balcanoona on the same day. The rains during this wet season also resulted in the filling of Lake Eyre to a depth of 3m.

South Australia is the driest state. By contrast, Australia's highest ever rainfall in a single day was recorded at Crohamhurst, Queensland, in February 1893, when 907 mm fell.

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