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NASA adds up Tropical Cyclone Marcia's Queensland area rainfall

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Powerful Tropical Cyclone Marcia dropped a lot of rain as it made landfall and moved over eastern Queensland, Australia from February 19 to 21. Data from NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite was combined with other satellites to create a map of that rainfall.

Damage from Cyclone Marcia's high winds was compounded by flooding caused by heavy rainfall over Australia's central Queensland coast. Near "real time" precipitation data from TRMM and other satellites were merged at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to create a merged precipitation analysis of rainfall totals.

The analysis indicated that areas near Brisbane received between 125 and 175 mm (~5 and 6.8 inches). The highest rainfall totals appeared off-shore from Lismore and Byron Bay, both located south of Brisbane. Rainfall totals there were calculated between 300 and 350 mm (11.8 and 13.7 inches). Another area of heavy rainfall was off-shore from Mackay, located 970 km north of Brisbane where between 275 and 300 mm (10.8 and 11.8 inches) of rain was estimated to have fallen from Tropical Cyclone Marcia.

During the week from February 16 to 23, 2015, Tropical Cyclone Marcia formed in Coral Sea, rapidly developed into a powerful tropical cyclone, hit Australia and then moved back out into the Coral Sea. 

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