drought


We’ve had some pretty heavy weather here in Brisbane lately. Over two days this past week my part of town had something like 400mm of rain. It’s a bit odd to get rain in Brisbane this time of the year. Mostly summer is wet and winter is dry. The May average rainfall for Brisbane (at the airport) is something like 100mm and the annual average only 1200!

Some suburbs were really badly hit. In my part of town Ithaca Creek broke its banks in a few places and a whole suburb (St Johns Wood) was isolated.

My place wasn’t much affected. The downstairs rooms got water running through them (they’re below ground level on one side), the gravel from the driveway got washed across the back yard and there is a large hole in the back ground next to the far side fence where the ground has subsided.

My main grump is that my bike route to work is along a linear park alongside Enoggera Creek. Half of it is covered in mud and the floodway creek crossings won’t be passable for weeks. Some of the timber bridges that were damaged in last November’s storms might be washed away totally. I don’t know yet.

The rain did have a good side. The drought is now officially over, and the dam levels went from a respectable 60% to a good 73% over this week.

My new rainwater tank, installed just before Christmas, is now full and overflowing. I’ve connected the pump and it seems to have enough pressure to fill the upstairs loo. Hurrah!

I think I now need to go and sprinkle some fertilizer on the lawn. How decandent.

So far, 2008 has been wet.

Really really wet.

Rain nearly every day this month.

Brisbane’s dams are now over 30% of capacity (up from something like 15% this time last year)

There are gullies across my back yard where the water running under the fence from my neighbour has pushed aside the gravel. The whole lower back yard is a damp mess. The vegies, especially the tomatoes have given up the ghost with the swampy ground.

Amazingly there was just a little bit of sun yesterday and this afternoon, so for the first time in 3 weeks I get to mow the lawn, which is inches high. Of course, I run out of petrol half way through.

Bet it rains tomorrow again!

I have come to the conclusion that the Bureau of Meteorology model to predict short term rainfall needs serious recalibration.

It seems like every week for the past 6 weeks the forecast has been “fine” with showers later in the week. As the week goes by, the forecast slowly changes to “fine” with a few showers by the middle of the next week, and by the middle of the next week, well, you get the picture.

There was even a day (when I was in the country) when I was warned to get home early because a major storm was approaching Brisbane. Brisbane had 1.4mm of rain that day.

The fact is that in the two months that I have been in Brisbane there has been one day of reasonable rain that I can remember, plus one very light sprinkle yesterday.

I get the feeling that normal service won’t return any time soon.