Murchison River flow

Most of the large flows of the Murchison River derive from cyclones. Local thunderstorms cause the river to flow but it is mainly the intensity and widespread nature of the rain from cyclones that gives rise to a full river.

Our Team was continually scanning the news for the advent of a cyclone that would head sufficiently far south from the Tropics and cross the coast at just the right location to bring rain to the Murchison.

The Murchison River is normally dry (except for a few large permanent pools) and relies on cyclonic rain for streamflow. And, over the years we were boating the Murchison, there were quite a few rain-bringing cyclones. Statistically more than we could have hoped for.

This was a period before online tracking of cyclones was generally available to the public via the World Wide Web (the Internet).

Inside Information

I came to know one of the Meteorological Officers in the Hydrology Section of the Bureau of Meteorology and from him I learned the interesting statistic that many of cyclones that cross the north-west coast of Western Australia originate in the Arafura and Timor Seas, north of Darwin. These cyclones are formed west of Cape York and travel past Darwin and along the Kimberley coast all the way to the region of Dampier, Onslow, Exmouth and Carnarvon.


© Kim Epton 2015-2018
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