Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A damp but pleasant Christmas

The clouds clung close to the hills of Robertson on Christmas Day and continued to do so today ("Boxing Day").
I have re-lit the heaters (yes, even the little gas heater, in the lounge room, as well as the electric oil-filled column heater in the bedroom). So much for Copenhagen. I mostly use the heaters to help keep the house dry, especially as Zoe is coming up tomorrow. Damp-induced mold is a perennial problem in houses in Robertson. So much for the Summer Solstice.

What has driven this weather is the tail end of Cyclone Laurence, which lashed the north-west coast of Australia - crossing the coastline in "The Kimberley". It has tracked across Western Australia, dumping great volumes of rain in the Pilbara, crossing into northern South Australia and the Northern Territory, and entering western NSW, where it has produced heavy, but very useful rain in the western zone, and the north-west districts, and even down as far as Mudgee, and Young.

This pattern of rain is not unusual, just uncommon.
In fact it is rain like this which is the lifeblood of the so-called Foodbowl of Australia (the Murray-Darling Basin), especially, in this case the Northern Basin of the Murray-Darling river system.
This one has started further south and west than many, and has continued to track somewhat further south than normal.Rain Depression which started as Cyclone Laurence.
It is the intense low south of Tasmania which has brought
the cold weather to Robertson.
The moist weather from the ex-cyclone Laurence
ended up just further west.Christmas Day, 5:00 am EDT
Dumping rain in central western NSW.
The remains of the "weather system" will track north from now on.

Lets hope we get a couple more of these cyclonic "washes" over this coming season. Another dump coming down from the Gulf of Carpentaria would match this rainfall nicely, to help central Queensland and the north-western tributaries of the Darling River, especially the Culgoa and Paroo Rivers.

Of course, we know that such cyclones are capable of causing immense damage and loss of life, but this cyclone, although rated at a Category 5 (as severe as Cyclone Tracy) managed to drift across largely unpopulated areas, and caused no loss of life.

By contrast, the most famous of Australia's cyclones, Cyclone Tracy "killed 71 people, caused $837 million in damage (1974 AUD) and destroyed more than 70 percent of Darwin's buildings, including 80 percent of houses. Tracy left homeless more than 20,000 out of the 49,000 inhabitants of the city prior to landfall and required the evacuation of over 30,000 people." Source: Wikipedia > Cyclone Tracy.

Nobody wants another one like that!

6 comments:

Gaye from the Hunter said...

Hello Denis,

it's hard to believe needing a heater on over Christmas, but I feel sure that beats the 37s we've been putting up with lately. Christmas day served us up 31 degrees, so there wasn't anything to complain about. But today we got 24 and light rain - lovely.

I've seen the water spread out over the flat semi-arid far northwest of NSW, and it is quite amazing - and quick. The farmers are happy at the moment, so I hope it doesn't get too severe.

The country in the Hunter Valley is greening up already.

Cheers,
Gaye

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Gaye
Robertson doesn't have an official "weather Station" but Moss Vale, our closest, shows 14.1 degrees at 3:00pm today.
.
OK, it is not freezing, but the wetness gets to me. Hate the smell of musty clothes, so I try to keep stuff dry.
.
Oh, and Robertson is colder and wetter than Moss Vale.
.
I am sure your local farmers are watching the weather. So far, so good.
I think it is moving north from your area, now.
Cheers
Denis

mick said...

It's a big country! and so far we haven't benefited from the rain. We did get 7mm overnight but that's not enough to wet this area properly. Hot, humid, and almost dry - and I'm sure all the visitors are loving it!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
You are right - it is a big country.
.
I notice that there was a cluster of dark blue dots around the Tweed Region (NSW/Queensland border) on the map, so you were not that far off. But they are hilly. Maybe the hills are too far away from you to trigger rain, in these circumstances.
.
Careful what you wish for, though, with cyclonic weather.
.
Hope you are well, and that the local birds on the estuary are all happy.
.
Cheers
Denis

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
.
There is rain just out past Fraser Island.heading your way.
.
Hope you get some, but not too much.
Cheers
Denis

mick said...

hehe! I've just seen it on the BOM but its not here yet. Here's hoping!!