Record March rainfall at Gladstone site

TORRENTIAL rain that hit Gladstone on March 7, causing flash floods in the city boosted the monthly rainfall, leading to the wettest month on record since 1994.

But according to the Bureau of Meteorology 308.4 mm fell over the Gladstone Airport monitoring station, the highest since records began at that site.


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That's in stark contrast to last year when just 36.2mm was recorded across the city for the entire month.

While the latest figures broke the 2014 record of 306.2 mm, that doesn't come close to beating the longest standing records, dating back to 1872, when Gladstone Post office recorded 585.7mm in March 1956.

A newspaper article from The Central Queensland Herald dated March 8, 1956 states the flooding was so severe it cut cattle supply lines forcing the Gladstone meatworks to close, putting 700 men out of work.


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"Over 1100 men in Rockhampton and Gladstone are jobless following the effects of the flood and industrial difficulties," the article reads.

"In Rockhampton the flood stemmed the flow of cattle into Lakes Creek and stopped operations throwing hundreds of meatworkers temporarily out of work.

"At Gladstone the labour scene is far from bright. Yesterday Swift's meatworks closed down, paying off 250 AMIEU members. Only a skeleton staff of about 50 remains, clearing up the last of operations…"

However Gladstone and Central Queensland were not the worst affected areas with the heaviest rains falling in the western part of the state, the bureau's records state.

The year 1956 was marked by heavy rainfall and a long wet season with 109.5mm recorded in August - the lowest that year.

With 2210mm of rain it still holds the record for Gladstone's wettest year since records began.

Despite a rainy March, the forecast for the first week of April shows a change with sunny days reaching the low 30s predicted until next Thursday. 

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