The Promise of Rain

G’Day Mob,

Farmers are a stoic breed, used to the dry spells that characterise their profession and determine their future, and the weather is never far from their minds.

How are you?                          “Yeah, not bad. Could use a drop of rain though.”

What have you been doing?   “Ah, not a lot. Dry innit?

How are the cattle faring?      “Pretty good. Wouldn’t mind some green tucker.”

And what about the grass?     “Dryin’ off. Nothin’ two inches of rain wouldn’t fix.”

They talk little about the drought that most always stalks them.

This is a snapshot of our rolling rainfall chart for the last twelve months:

Rolling Rainfall

Don’t worry too much about the numbers, just look at the colours. Blue means we were having a good season, green normal, brown dry and grey desperate. It shows how sudden and severe this current drought has been – slamming us with its brutal winds and searing temperatures over summer, and its heart-wrenching lack of rain.

Last week the Bureau of Meteorology predicted widespread soaking rains. The rural sector went nuts: prices jumped 20c/kg in the saleyards, the air was either filled with smoke (as people did hazard reduction burns) or dust (as others took to the tractors to plough paddocks) and a friend rang offering us his boat should we be flooded in. All on the promise of rain.

On Friday night it seemed the world went quiet, holding its breath in anticipation of reviving rain.

And on Saturday Hughie sent her down:

85mm at Mum’s place on the coast

25mm on the parched plains of Walgett

38mm on the Grawin opal fields

63mm at Kourmala in QLD

62mm in central NSW

164mm in Sydney

And 19mm at Rocky Springs

So, sorry Mick, we won’t be needing the boat, but 19mm might just jump-start us into spring; get some of those medics motoring and begin to fill that big black sponge we call our basalt soil. We’ll take all the wet stuff we can get.

To all of you who need it, may the promise of rain be soon upon you once again.

Now tell me Mob – how much rain did you get?

10 responses to “The Promise of Rain

  1. Not much rain to speak of here in my part of western Oregon at this time of year. Just a few pitter patters so far with the occasional passing thunderstorm. August often brings a little rain and cooler temperatures mid month, giving us a breather, but the real soaking rains tend not to come until some time in October. Grass is “ignition dry” underfoot in most places, and fire danger is high.

    • Summer (December to February) is supposed to be our rainy season but last year it didn’t turn up. Hoping we get some this year.

  2. We only got an inch too, which was surprising, given all the flood warnings! It did flood about an hour down the road though…

  3. More rain than we need here in sydney. I watched it pouring down the drains and thinking it was such a waste of a resource. What a shame it cant be redirected where its needed.

    • Yes, Sydney does seem to get its fair share of rain. I have an uncle in Pyrmont and he often complains about all the rain. If you come up with a way to direct it west, please let me know! And thanks for reading.

  4. No rain here in Karatu, Tanzania, and not expecting any up to about October!

  5. we’ve had rain this week, hopefully it got a bit inland or else the wheat harvest will be ruined. given we had a hot spell last week it may be too late for some…

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