The Drought Breaks in Australia

Australia is a land of “drought and flooding rains”.  

Last week parts of north-eastern Australia received a “year’s rain within a week” and many inland areas are now sea.  There is a photo gallery at the CourierMail website entitled “Queensland Under Water” and the following photograph of the Urandangi Hotel copied from the gallery.

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23 Responses to The Drought Breaks in Australia

  1. Louis Hissink January 14, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    BOM, in WA at least, predicted tonight that tomorrow, in Perth, will be a scorcher – temperature to reach 39 deg. Celsius.

    We will see and I’ll report tomorrow night here on what Perth actually reached temperature wise.

  2. spangled drongo January 14, 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    Much of that flooding will be heading towards Lake Eyre for the next 6 months, saturating that fine soil on the way, that rain can never wet and generating a great resource as it goes.
    The southern flood has already reached Birdsville and there is all that northern flood still to come.
    The channel country wil be “up to its arse in mitchell grass and up to its knees in clover” for some time.

  3. SJT January 14, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    “Drought Breaks in Australia”? Once again, a Sydney centric view of the country. No drought’s breaking in Victoria.

  4. bazza January 14, 2009 at 10:27 pm #

    Drought Breaks in Australia – SJT is too kind with his Sydney centric view as explanation. The header is simply wrong- Freudian slap or pious artifice or whatever. Go all empirical and check the facts for yourself. There remains an extreme drought by most useful definitions across much of southern Australia. This contrasts with recent above average rain in much of northern Australia. This northsouth pattern has persisted for a couple of decades. I doubt such a pattern has a precedent.

  5. david January 15, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    Here’s the rainfall map for the year to date – http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi?map=contours&variable=percent&area=aus&period=cmonth&region=aus&time=latest . It has been an extremely dry January so far across most of Australia.

    The drought across the south of Australia, including the southern Murray Darling Basin, Tasmania, southern Victoria, Melbourne, the ACT, southeast Queensland, SW WA is still very severe and has got worse this month – not better – http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi?map=contours&variable=deciles&area=aus&period=36month&region=aus&time=latest .

    Suggest changing the title to “Northwest Queensland experiences severe flooding”.

  6. janama January 15, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    David – Victoria is NOT Australia. In 2008 Australia produced a bumper wheat crop (20 million tons) that was downgraded due to rain!! Only parts of western Victoria and Sth Australia missed out.

    the area around Mt Isa in northern Queensland has been in drought for the past year and Jen is totally correct to claim the recent rain and flooding has eased that situation.

  7. spangled drongo January 15, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    David,
    But click on to http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi?map=contours&variable=percent&area=aus&period=1month&region=aus&time=latest and those areas you talk about did OK.

  8. MattB January 15, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    wasn’t it this blog last week tellling me that there wasn;t a drought in the eastern states and it was all just a media beat-up? I seem to recall a graph showing rainfall had been decidedly average for years.

  9. spangled drongo January 15, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Matt B,
    “decidedly average”, when it comes to rainfall in this country, is great!

    And that’s about how we’re going at the moment.

    I’d hate to hear you blokes if your arse was on fire.

  10. bazza January 15, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    MattB has some recollection that there was no drought – just a media beatup – so he would be wondering about the spin and beatup in the headline of ‘drought breaks in Australia’. There are lots of ways to define drought but if you want to get a feel for the long term moisture deficiencies then the 36 month BoM grasp referrred to by David is a good start. Facts trump recollections. The map shows clearly the story in southern and eastern Australia – widespread well below average and some record low 36 month totals. This contrasts with the north with generally well above average.

    Janama suggests on behalf of wheat farmers that a good wheat crop means no drought – the wheat crop reflects seasonal rain. Spangled Drongo thinks an average month ends a drought – maybe in England. Janama curiously even loyally says Jennifer is correct because there was good rain in north Queensland. So?

  11. Lazlo January 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    Louis, I too have been noticing a recent tactic from the BoM, aided by their greenie mates in the msm, to trumpet alarming weather/temperature predictions. Also the Sydney Morning Herald site right now is carrying these exact words:

    “The Bureau of Meteorology has advised that initial forecasts have been exceeded already today..”

    “Now: 31°C Max: 38°C”

    And I can see the cool change coming in…

  12. janama January 15, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    bazza if you check northern Australia you’ll see that eastern queensland has had above average rain, the region around Mt Isa and the lower gulf country has had below average rainfall for the past year so this rain does in fact break their drought.

    The southern drought has only affected regions of Victoria, Sth Australia and south western NSW i.e. Hay Mildura. The rest of the wheat belt from wagga wagga up to inland queensland has had normal rainfall over the past couple of years hence the record sorghum crop and above average wheat crops. When the farmers are pulling in above average crop yields you can hardly say they are in drought! The Paroo river flooded twice last year! Hardly drought!

  13. MattB January 15, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    ACtually Bazza I was pointing out that when it suits Jennifer she will claim that AGW is alarmism because rainfall is not down at all, and that the drought is exaggerated by Warmists…. but suddenly it rains and the drought she does not believe in is broken!

  14. MattB January 15, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Lazlo – meteorologists have been making headlines out of hot and cold weather since the origins of the profession! TO claim that as a conspiracy for AGW is a long bow to draw indeed!

  15. spangled drongo January 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    Hey you blokes, this is Australia! Australia does drought!
    What we’re getting at the moment is probably as good as it gets on average.
    My earlier post showed rainfalls of up to 400% of average for last month in arid parts of southern Aust.
    We’ve just produced very good wheat and barley crops.
    If you don’t know about drought go and play some John Williamson records. Or Slim Dusty or Smokey Dawson or Lionel Long or…….
    We didn’t get all this skin cancer living under leaden skies.

  16. J.Hansford. January 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    They’ll be telling us that Cubby station is pinching all the water…..

  17. bazza January 15, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    MattB, apologies for my misinterpreting the subtle thrusts of your point. Interesting that two years ago ( 21 Jan 2007) Jennifer came out with ‘ Has the Drought Across Southern Australia Finally Broken?’ So there is form. It sems to be about showing the climate has not changed yet. Howard and Bush used to push that line.

  18. Hasbeen January 15, 2009 at 11:09 pm #

    There is always somewhere is Oz in drought, & always some are suffering its effects.

    However, most of our recent drought in the major cities has been a politicians drought. Our state labor governments have exagerated a minor below average rainfall, into major droughts, to try to cover their total lack forward planning for the water supplies for the east coast capitals.

    While being totally unable to supply the services the people require, these governments have been very successful in just one thing. They are absolute champions at growing the bureaucracy.

    In Qld we even got a very expensive water commission. Someone for our useless pollys to now blame for their own previous failings.

  19. janama January 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    ACtually Bazza I was pointing out that when it suits Jennifer she will claim that AGW is alarmism because rainfall is not down at all, and that the drought is exaggerated by Warmists…. but suddenly it rains and the drought she does not believe in is broken!

    that’s utter bullshit! all Jennifer claimed was that the rainfall of eastern australia hasn’t been reducing as the warmers have been claiming! and she was correct when you look at the BoM figures.

    The drought referred to in this thread is the Mt Isa – Burketown, Gulf country drought!

    And it’s been broken! Sheesh!!

  20. MattB January 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    Ahh, you see the blog title says “The Drought Breaks in Australia”… and in my books anything east of the NT and SA is “Eastern Australia” anyway…

  21. wes george January 18, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Bazza’s comments are typical of those whose credulity is putty in the hands of the mass media. Fine weather isn’t news and therefore goes unreported. Here in New England we are having one of our finest season in decades, although it is a bit on the cool side. I’ve haven’t seen any news headlines about it though.

    The only climate change that Australia has undergone in the last twenty years is intellectual. We are in the midst of the greatest drought of rational thought in our history.

    Either lacking the skills necessary to analyze the historic data directly, or too lazy, Bazza has relied on the ABC to parse the science for him. Or so it seems. Their conclusions concur: Australia is in the worst drought since history began and it’s all because of our wicked greed has changed the Earth’s climate. Who says religious piety is extinct in Australia?

    Australia is a big continent. Since the beginning of the Holocene it is unlikely that at least some section of Australia hasn’t suffered drought 99 out of every 100 years. Indigenous culture understood this and allowed for transit routes across each others lands to reach water and food sources in times of drought.

    Localized droughts don’t indicate climate change in Australia, on the contrary drought is the best indication of climate continuity. Drought is so ubiquitous its become perhaps the most common motif in Australian literature. Take Randolph Stow’s “Tourmaline”, for example. And most recently the ABC’s interesting serial-drama “Rain Shadow” , which is finding it awkward to manipulate the drought motif as a symbol of climate change rather than stasis.

    Of course, the Bazzas among us would be shouting climate change if the Murray was flooding too. What is it about averages–for that is what climate amounts too–that so confuses the credulous?

    In fact, the only really unusual weather event is when it comes spot on the climatological average! Now that’s a man bites dog story.

  22. nevket240 March 11, 2009 at 7:24 am #

    http://www.srpnet.com/water/rooseveltrelease.aspx

    it isn’t only Oz where the drought has broken. one can assume even greater levels when the RECORD snowfalls start to melt.
    regards

  23. nevket240 March 11, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    whoops. that should have read. greater levels of release…

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