Wetter late than never!

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Wetter late than never!

By Roy Weavers

The unseasonable dry weather we have been experiencing since November last year until about a fortnight ago has undoubtedly been an added bonus for the tourists but not. alas, for the farmers.

Thinking positively however there hasn't been any threats of cyclones either but the lack of rain has been worrying the cane farmers and the icy cold fresh water that usually slides off the Pennisula into the sea to cool the Great Barrier Reef and keep it healthy, was also beginning to worry its protection agencies.

The reason for this slow start was, apparently, because we were still in a La Nina pattern and the monsoonal trough which brings us our steady (afternoon and evening) rainfalls each year during this essential green period had been pushed to the north and we were, therefore, 'forced' to enjoy the unexpected sunshine until the trough found it's way back to the south.

This last couple of weeks, however,  gave us real hope that the vital monsoon season had finally gotten into it's rhythm.

The week of 5th to the 12th March spluttered or is it spattered into life with a more reasonable rainfall total of some 300mm and then last week the heavens opened and showed us their class!

508mm of rain fell on Port Douglas between Monday 12th March at 7am and yesterday (Monday 19th at 7am).

The rain gauge that supplied this welcome information was positioned in Port Gardens and we thank Annie for her dedication to the job come rain or shine.

The forecast for this week according to the Cairns Bureau of Meteorology will see another 100ml of 'well behaved' rain falling mainly in the afternoons and evenings before clearing away once again midweek.

However with the 'yoyo' monsoonal trough now to our south of us, we may see some short sharp bursts of rain as it travels to the north again over this coming weekend.

The Cairns Bureau said that although February was below average for rainfall, they were pretty confident that the overall seasons rainfall could be caught up before the 2012 records were closed resulting in the cane farmers and the Reef being satisfied with the end result.

On the cyclone front, although traditionally the Far North considers St Patrick's Day to be the unofficial end of the cyclone season, the Cairns Bureau of Meteorology has said that officially it is the end of April before they would be happy to issue the 'all clear'.

But there is an air of confidence that 2012 will be free of the devastation that was endured last year.

So, if you're in any way superstitious this may be an appropriate moment to 'touch wood' or stroke your 'rabbit's foot' just to ensure their confidence is justified!!

But whatever else happens in the next couple of weeks before Easter, just enjoy the rains.  They are absolutely vital to our fragile environment and like the sugar cane you'll soon dry and blossom as sweet as ever!

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