For National Poetry Day:
Rain by Hone Tuwhare.
It was raining when we left home on Sunday afternoon.
It carried on raining for the two days we were away.
Our 5:30 flight back from Wellington yesterday evening was cancelled, we got seats on a later one and it was nearly 8pm when we left Christchurch.
We phoned a friend who operates a trucking business for an update on roads and were told there was surface flooding but we should be okay on the main road.
I checked the Waitaki District Council website and found a long list of cautions and closures – including at least one on all the shortcuts we would use to get home.
We opted to go the long way and came across some deep puddles but no flooding.
However, the lawn is very, very soggy and I hate to think what the paddocks where cows are will look like.
Three weeks ago we were considering having to start irrigating this month. That won’t be necessary.
But now we’ve had more than enough rain would it be greedy to ask for some sunshine?
A total of 70 mls with no damage, that’s a good rain.
UPDATE: Good for us but further north, in South Canterbury, they’ve had far too much of a good thing:
Torrential rain caused flooding across South Canterbury yesterday and by 10pm last night the Te Ngawai had reached a 50-year flood level, flowing at 1000 cumecs.
Wet conditions are forecast for the rest of the week.
Much of the region experienced more than 90 millimetres of rain – significantly more than the 75mm average total rainfall for the month. Rainfall of 180mm was recorded in some areas. Most rivers experienced flows of 10- to 20-year return periods. . .
Some roads are closed and the forecast is for more rain.
Yesterday’s post lamenting too little rain was premature.
When my farmer went to check the rain gauge this morning he found it had overflowed which means we’ve had at least 40 mls and this comment from Raymond reports even more further north.
That’s the first significant rainfall we’ve had since early May and very welcome.
Farmers in the high country who have just started lambing won’t be so happy, especially those who got snow as well.
Our rain gauge holds only 25 mls.
My farmer tipped out 20 early yesterday evening and it was overflowing first thing this morning.
At Five Forks just over the hill and Totara about 10 kilometres as the crow flies, they’ve had 80 mls. Glencoe on the eastern edge of the Kakanui Range, above Waianakarua, has had 100 mls and there’s been 120 at Weston which is about half way between Oamaru and home.
The Kakanui River is rising at a rate of about 45 mls mms an hour.
Recent rainfall softened the ground so a lot has soaked in but we’re starting to get run off. The radio is broadcasting advice for country people to stay at home and State Highway 1 is closed at Deborah.
I don’t need to use that stretch of road but there are a few spots between here and town which flood.
I’m supposed to be MCing the Enterprising Rural Women Award presentations at the Rural Women NZ annual conference in Oamaru this evening. I’ll make a reconnaissance this afternoon to see if the roads are passable. If they are I’ll take the precaution of packing a toothbrush and change of clothes with me in case I get there then find I can’t get home again.
Not wanting this to be seen as a sign of ingratitude, I’ll declare the drought over and be grateful that we will now be set up for good spring growth.
The weather forecast is warning us we’ll get 200 mls of rain today.
That’s nearly half what we get in a good year and not much less than the total we get in a bad year.
We woke to light rain which slowed to little more then mizzle – misty drizzle – by mid morning.
However, it’s now raining heavily and we’ve now increased the odds on the forecast being right.
The rain which fell a couple of weeks ago was enough to enable us to stop irrigating.
It wasn’t, however, enough for much growth on dry land and one of our neighbours has been grazing the long acre to save what pasture he’s got.
It’s not a lot of fun watching over your stock on the road verges. When I stopped to chat to him a couple of days ago he was understandably worried and desperate for a follow up rain.
Today he might be getting it. My farmer found 4 mls in the rain gauge this morning and it’s still drizzling.