Event 1984 Sydney flood.

Joshua Randazzo

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Jan 1, 2021
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near sydney CBD.
I'm sure at least some of you are aware of the time on the 8th of november 1984 when sydney observatory hill recorded 196mm of rain in three hours including 120.3mm of rain in one hour between 10 and 11pm. this rain was caused by a coastal trough with high humidity values with in turn spawned very slow moving tremendous thunderstorms over the center and north of the city. this very heavy rainfall caused 80 million in damages.
My nan witnesset this event at glebe near the sydney CBD she said to this day that period of rain between 10 and 11pm was the heaviest she has seen before or since
eb188aca4e8954108211f2f29f324eada8a64ce4.jpg
people in very heavy rain.
 

Steve777

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I remember that event. It extended over four days. There was a massive downpour early one morning (6th), another late that night (6th/7th) and for good measure a massive afternoon thunderstorm a couple of days later (8th). A River flowed across Epping Road near Wicks Road through what would have been the valley of a long-since buried natural water course. Houses were flooded and cars floated away. Not far away, the Lane Cove Weir collapsed. As I recall the first storm was centred in the Eastern Harbourside suburbs.

Here are the rainfall readings at Sydney OH for November 6-9, 1984, where it was a less intense (mm): 98, 45, 44, 235. The first two days may have been one storm extending past 9:00 AM. Be that as it may, an extraordinary 422 mm (nearly 17”) fell in less than 96 hours.
 

Steve777

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This picture shows the levels of the higher floods of the Lane Cove River over the last few decades, marked on a post at the entrance to the Lane Cove Boatshed. From top to bottom these are the floods in November 1984, last February's flood (circled in yellow), August 1986 and February 2010.



The February 2020 flood mark is close to me eye level when standing next to the post (I'm 178 cm / 5'10" tall). I estimate the floor level to be about 1.4 to 1.5 metres above the river level, then close to normal. The floor level is itself is about 1.25 metres above the level of the top of the Lane Cove Weir, some 350 metres downstream.

The 1984 flood was another 0.75 metres higher again, so about 3.4 to 3.5 metres above the top of the weir. That would have been something to witness - at a safe distance. It washed away part of the weir.
 

Flowin

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Was Nov 1984 Event an ECL?
Or some other synoptic setup?
I haven’t checked ECL databases or weather charts yet sorry.
Just thought I would ask first from folk who witnessed/ remembered it.
 
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Eddy

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Yeah I remember that event too, I remember dad waking me up at 5am because the creek behind the house broke its banks and flooded the whole yard, flood waters were about an inch away from entering the house. We had an above ground pool that basically got washed away, parents decided to build a semi inground pool only for it too to collapse two years later in the 86 flood.
 

Donza

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Yeah I remember that event too, I remember dad waking me up at 5am because the creek behind the house broke its banks and flooded the whole yard, flood waters were about an inch away from entering the house. We had an above ground pool that basically got washed away, parents decided to build a semi inground pool only for it too to collapse two years later in the 86 flood.
Sounds like this time last year here in Wollongong.
 

Eddy

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Yep just like that Donzah, the water through the garage.
I'm sure mum and dad took photos, if I ever get my hands on them I'll post them here.
 

teckel

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I love that 1956 Cinesound one. When I was small, and went to the cinemapicture theatre, they'd always have Cinesound news with dramatic voice overs and music just like that one, for whatever events they were covering as a lead up to whatever movie you were to see. So that video brings back memories of my childhood in the 60s. :)
 

Mode

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Feb 9, 2021
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Smashes august 1998
yes but not as widespread and destructive as 1998 , was less intense but more rain over a wider area on 1998, max hourly rain rate was 123mm/hr haven't looked at 1998 but max hourly rate was comparble, most of the 796mm in 1984 tell in 12hours too!!!!
 
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Bello Weather

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I remember that event. It extended over four days. There was a massive downpour early one morning (6th), another late that night (6th/7th) and for good measure a massive afternoon thunderstorm a couple of days later (8th). A River flowed across Epping Road near Wicks Road through what would have been the valley of a long-since buried natural water course. Houses were flooded and cars floated away. Not far away, the Lane Cove Weir collapsed. As I recall the first storm was centred in the Eastern Harbourside suburbs.

Here are the rainfall readings at Sydney OH for November 6-9, 1984, where it was a less intense (mm): 98, 45, 44, 235. The first two days may have been one storm extending past 9:00 AM. Be that as it may, an extraordinary 422 mm (nearly 17”) fell in less than 96 hours.

Had to have a look to see what happened - check out the low developing off the north coast and then swinging in...feels like a long time since we saw one of those!

mslp 1984.gif
 
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Bello Weather

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Always intrigued by the uppers in these situations...and sure enough upper trough that turns into a very decent cut off...The uppers have a MASSIVE part to play in creating these big rain events:

846324af-2d19-4309-bdaf-50b2db062c17.gif
 
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Homer

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I clearly remember this event but it wasn't your classic ECL like we have come to know.

I was working in Parramatta on a building site. Near the corner of Victoria Rd and Church street. I cannot remember which of the 4 days it was.
I just remember being on site and the storm hitting during the morning, somewhere between 7 - 9 am. It lasted about 3 hours, and then tapered off to steady rain for the rest of the day. At the time, it was the heaviest rain I'd ever seen and there was consistent thunder and lightning. My girlfriend at the time had to abandon her car at Eastwood station (heading to Macqaurie Park to work) when it was engulfed in flood waters.
I say it wasn't a classic ECL because these storms were virtually stationary and lasted for hours. I'd never seen anything like it at the time and was dumbstruck at such a weather event. A thunderstorm that didn't move. WTF? I've only once since then seen a similar event and it was just a few years later.

The only ever other event that had the consistency in intensity was the August 1986 event when OH recorded 324 mm's over a 24 hr period 9 - 9. That was a proper ECL, with gales force winds and flooding all over the Metro. The November '84 event tops it because the over 200 mm's fell in a 3 - 4 hour period.
Back then, during the 80's, I thought the weather was great because we had many events like this - some worse than others. I thought this was the norm.
Certainly, not so nowadays.
 

Donza

Dogs body...
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I clearly remember this event but it wasn't your classic ECL like we have come to know.

I was working in Parramatta on a building site. Near the corner of Victoria Rd and Church street. I cannot remember which of the 4 days it was.
I just remember being on site and the storm hitting during the morning, somewhere between 7 - 9 am. It lasted about 3 hours, and then tapered off to steady rain for the rest of the day. At the time, it was the heaviest rain I'd ever seen and there was consistent thunder and lightning. My girlfriend at the time had to abandon her car at Eastwood station (heading to Macqaurie Park to work) when it was engulfed in flood waters.
I say it wasn't a classic ECL because these storms were virtually stationary and lasted for hours. I'd never seen anything like it at the time and was dumbstruck at such a weather event. A thunderstorm that didn't move. WTF? I've only once since then seen a similar event and it was just a few years later.

The only ever other event that had the consistency in intensity was the August 1986 event when OH recorded 324 mm's over a 24 hr period 9 - 9. That was a proper ECL, with gales force winds and flooding all over the Metro. The November '84 event tops it because the over 200 mm's fell in a 3 - 4 hour period.
Back then, during the 80's, I thought the weather was great because we had many events like this - some worse than others. I thought this was the norm.
Certainly, not so nowadays.
Not to get into the "storms were bigger in my day debate"

But its interesting how periods of weather become engrained in your memory.
While the beige just slides to the side.

ie the Period around the pasha bulker.
Where strong ECL's seemed common...
Or the Wild westerlies of 91/92. Weeks of westerlies and snow during August.
Or the Fire season last summer :(
 

Homer

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Not to get into the "storms were bigger in my day debate"

But its interesting how periods of weather become engrained in your memory.
While the beige just slides to the side.

ie the Period around the pasha bulker.
Where strong ECL's seemed common...
Or the Wild westerlies of 91/92. Weeks of westerlies and snow during August.
Or the Fire season last summer :(

I agree.
I started a huge rebuild of a house in Mosman in Jan 98. It was I think April in that year that there was 4 or 5 ECL's. They played havoc with the project.
 

Eddy

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There have been few stationary storms over the years, it's just a matter of whether
Not to get into the "storms were bigger in my day debate"

But its interesting how periods of weather become engrained in your memory.
While the beige just slides to the side.

ie the Period around the pasha bulker.
Where strong ECL's seemed common...
Or the Wild westerlies of 91/92. Weeks of westerlies and snow during August.
Or the Fire season last summer :(

Yeah I agree too, generally there have been a few stationary storms over the years, it's whether you get to experience one or two of them or hear of the major ones that are remembered. Generally most people forget the ones that happened several hundred ks away from your location, like the storm Donzah mentioned last year earlier in this thread, that was me of course, had to do some research on that to re-jog my memory.

Homer 98 was indeed a good year for ECL's, I was stuck on island for two weeks because of an ECL.
 

Mode

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There have been few stationary storms over the years, it's just a matter of whether


Yeah I agree too, generally there have been a few stationary storms over the years, it's whether you get to experience one or two of them or hear of the major ones that are remembered. Generally most people forget the ones that happened several hundred ks away from your location, like the storm Donzah mentioned last year earlier in this thread, that was me of course, had to do some research on that to re-jog my memory.

Homer 98 was indeed a good year for ECL's, I was stuck on island for two weeks because of an ECL.
The August 1998 Wollongong flood was the result of a stationary ECL also
 
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Mode

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I was in Fiji when that occurred, it was weird reading about it in the Fiji papers!!
haha I was in the middle of it definitely have never experienced rain as heavy as that since even lived in Darwin for a couple of years to put it in perspective
 
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Billy_Buttons

Part of the Furniture
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How amazing was the April 1999 hail storm! Friend decided to take the Commodore that day and left their Torana SS in the garage for a change. The Commodore ended up as you would well imagine.
 

Podlet

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Jindabyne
I clearly remember this event but it wasn't your classic ECL like we have come to know.

I was working in Parramatta on a building site. Near the corner of Victoria Rd and Church street. I cannot remember which of the 4 days it was.
I just remember being on site and the storm hitting during the morning, somewhere between 7 - 9 am. It lasted about 3 hours, and then tapered off to steady rain for the rest of the day. At the time, it was the heaviest rain I'd ever seen and there was consistent thunder and lightning. My girlfriend at the time had to abandon her car at Eastwood station (heading to Macqaurie Park to work) when it was engulfed in flood waters.
I say it wasn't a classic ECL because these storms were virtually stationary and lasted for hours. I'd never seen anything like it at the time and was dumbstruck at such a weather event. A thunderstorm that didn't move. WTF? I've only once since then seen a similar event and it was just a few years later.

The only ever other event that had the consistency in intensity was the August 1986 event when OH recorded 324 mm's over a 24 hr period 9 - 9. That was a proper ECL, with gales force winds and flooding all over the Metro. The November '84 event tops it because the over 200 mm's fell in a 3 - 4 hour period.
Back then, during the 80's, I thought the weather was great because we had many events like this - some worse than others. I thought this was the norm.
Certainly, not so nowadays.

I recall the 1986 event as it combined with a king high tide in Parramatta. the Oakes Road bridge in toongabbie/winston hills washed away and houses in westmead, toongabbie and greystanes were all under water. I've never seen Toongabbie creek so full!
 
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