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.
We got 15 mls of very welcome rain last night.
The near-empty irrigation dam shows how much it was needed.
Now the pressure is off the irrigation and we might be able to stop watering for the season.
Last night’s fall brings us to a total of 27 mls – just over an inch in old money – for the month and about 50 mls this year, though still only 336 mls in the last 12 months which is well under the annual average of around 500 mls.
While the rain made a big difference to us because we’re irrigated, it wouldn’t have done much more than lay the dust on dryland farms and it was localised.
Totara, about 10 kilometres as the crow flies from us, received only 9 mls and our hill block at Waianakarua about 20 kms away got only 4 mls.
The downpour came with a thunderstorm which brought a lot of water in a very short time. We don’t complain about rain here so this is an obesrevation not a moan – it also brought a flood inside the conservatory which took three buckets and seven towels to mop up.
Memo to self: clean the spouting before it rains again.
“What’s the weather doing?” my farmer asked as I pulled the curtains and peered out at the pre-dawn gloom.
“A few stars, some high cloud, lawn’s white, must be a hard frost,” I replied.
When he got up a few minutes later he told me to take a closer look, the white wasn’t frost, it was snow.
When it got a bit lighter we found it was more snowish than snowy.
As often happens, Dunedin got a dumping and the storm came up the coast to about Wainakarua then the worst of the weather went out to sea, leaving northern North Otago with a dusting of snow which stayed on the lawn and short-grazed paddocks but has already gone from the longer grass.
The clocks don’t go forward until 2am tomorrow but already the weather is proving it’s too early.
Yesterday we had a nor-west spring day with temperatures around 20 degrees, but today it’s less than 10 and it’s raining.
No Peter Dunne I will not appreciate another hour of darkness a week earlier than it used to be. I’m grumpy already and that’s before I lose an hour’s sleep tonight and have to get up in the pre-dawn chill. Mutter mumble.
Tumeke! suggests two time zones with the North Island clocks going forwards a few weeks before those in the South.
But I’ve got a better idea, why don’t the people in the north be like the birds and fly south for the summer – it’ll be light until around 10pm here in late December.
Update: One of our men just called in to say he’d stopped working a paddock on a hill block at Waianakaru because it’s snowing!