Welcome soaking rain has wiped the sweat from the brow of more than a few desperate producers who had been counting down to destruction in the days prior.
South Giddi Giddi near Goondiwindi recorded a new October record with 40mm falling in 24 hours over Monday and the effect snuck south to Pallamallawa which recorded 37 for the same period.
Cunningham’s Gap west of Brisbane equaled its 1982 record of 56mm and while more fell at Mullumbimby south of the border – 68mm – it paled in comparison to the record of 240mm in one day for October back in 1972.
Country west of the Newell Highway delighted in the scent of moisture with a splash of 7mm at Wee Waa and 13mm at Gwabegar. To the east things improved with 22 at Mt Kaputar, and nearly the same at Inverell.
On the Moree plains the rain came too late for wheat crops that had already turned but Ross McPhie, ‘Noondoo', Biniguy said the 20mm at his place between Pallamallawa and Terry Hie Hie (18mm) will certainly help 1000 acres of later sown Gauntlet which had been desperately crying out for water in the days prior. If chick peas kick on because of it then the rain will have done them some good too.
Chickpeas were mostly spared at Urbenville, south-east of Warwick where 500 acres of Hattrick planted by Wayne Petty struggled in the hot and dry leading up to the 25mm of rain that fell over two days. It will take another week or so before anyone will know whether the hardy legume can spring back to life.
For John Claydon, Mingoola west of Tenterfield, 25mm over two days will provide for a struggling oat crop and kick-start pasture with sustenance after months of ‘terrible dry’.
“This is the start of a better season, I hope,” he said.
On the New England Tablelands at Glen Innes Herb Duddy, ‘Sarah Park’, recorded nearly 20mm from the event which will help heart-start a rye crop that had been ‘singing out’ for water. Up until the event there was just 23mm in the previous three months.
The Upper Hunter missed out for the most part, but did capture one 1mm at Scone, 2mm at Merriwa and 4mm at Cassilis.
Meanwhile the Bureau of Meteorology is unable to say whether there will be much follow-up despite the late September prediction that we will have a wetter than average October, before returning to usual for November.
The Bureau’s Catherine Ganter said climatologists like herself don’t ‘edit’ the predictions that spout forth from giant computer models in Melbourne. “We interpret them,” she said.
“We don’t know if there will be more storms or whether the model was reading this event as having the potential to provide all of the above average rain for the month.”
Sarah Fitton, from the Bureau’s extreme weather desk, said it was unlikely the eastern seaboard would see such an event as this repeat itself before the end of the month, although patchy storm rain was certainly likely with unsettled weather all week.
Longer term most models punting on the southern oscillation reckon a La Nina event might develop but a dryer Indian Ocean influence will counter that.