Queensland, The Sometimes Sunshine State

I got through a whole post on Friday without mentioning the rain. Didn’t think I’d be able to, but I did. But with an opening like this, you’d be forgiven for thinking I am about to whinge like a whingeing Pom about the rain again.

Well, not quite.

I am pleased to report that normal service has been resumed here in Australia and today we have hot and sunny with clear blue skies again. And by hot, I mean 26°C. The whole weekend was rain free and sunny too.

But it did rain on Friday, much to my annoyance. Why? Regular readers will know that I am a keen gardener and I always like to mow the lawn before it gets knee-high. Well on Friday it was knee-high and it hadn’t rained for a few hours so I put my boots on and was about to drag the lawnmower out of the garden shed when…..

Yes, you guessed it, it rained again! But here’s what I found amazing. For the first 16 days of this month we have only had four days when it didn’t rain. And between the other 12 days, we’ve had over 240 mm of rain. In old money that’s about 8 feet! It is already more rain than we have had in Brisbane during October for more than 60 years and we’re only about halfway through the month.

But it didn’t rain on Saturday and so the lawnmower did get out of the garden shed and I mowed the lawn. If this had been England it would have been a mud bath. My lawnmower would have churned up the grass something rotten. But on Saturday my lawn was completely dry!

grass

My lawn after mowing.

Admit it; it could be Wimbledon couldn’t it? Such a perfect lawn after so much rain, and so dry so quickly, frankly I was shocked. Yes, when the sun comes out, it does get hot and stuff dries up reallly fast. I think the gale force winds we got Friday night helped too.

But what did we do at the weekend?

Here in South East Queensland at the moment, the fastest growing spectator sport is dam watching. People have been flooding (sorry!) to dams all around the state just to see how full they are. And, as I showed you in the third video in my blog post last week about Queensland’s water shortage, to watch megatons of it being released back into the surrounding rivers.

Not wanting to miss out, we decided to visit Lake Manchester, a dam no further than around 20 km from where we live. We didn’t make it, the road was closed. We got out of our car and walked down the hill to try and find out why…..

bridge over the Brisbane RiverUsually, that bridge across the river is about 20 feet above the waterline. Not today it wasn’t!

Flooded Bridge over Brisbane River

Ideal for paddling, as long as you stay close, but not good for driving across. It looks like I’ll be talking about rain quite a bit in the future if what the experts are saying turns out to be true. I mentioned last week that we are certainly in a major La Niña event right now, which indicates very wet weather to come.

Here are 4 quotes from an article I read over the weekend, source couriermail.com.au:

  • Mr Davidson will warn that the emergence of a rare La Nina weather pattern has created an “increased risk” of severe cyclonic activity between December and March.
  • Another leading weather expert warned that a southeast cyclone could trigger the biggest flood to hit Brisbane in 120 years.
  • Never mind 1974 … a repeat of the 1893 floods, that’s what I would be concerned about” Mr Callaghan said. The highest of three flood peaks in Brisbane City in 1893 was 8.35m on February 5, 2.9m higher than in 1974. Mr Callaghan said it was inevitable a flood as big as 1893 would happen again.
  • Since about 2005 we have begun to see more large rainfall and cyclone events, so the question is whether we are entering a 30 or even 100-year wet cycle.

A 100-year wet cycle!!!! Oh great!

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