Farmers share horror 2019 rain totals

Farmers share horror 2019 rain totals


Farmers in drought-hit parts of Australia say they are happy to see the back of 2019.


The start of a new year has prompted many farmers still facing horrific drought conditions to reflect on the massive rainfall deficiencies seen throughout 2019.

The Bureau of Meteorology's official drought report for January to December is due out early next week however the November report shows that 2019 is on track to break rainfall deficiency records in many parts of the country.

For Australia as a whole, 2019 boasted the second-driest January-November on record, behind January-November 1902.

Daytime temperatures were also up, with the second highest on record for mean maximum temperature, adding to moisture stress.

As a new decade dawns, many landowners have been sharing their annual rainfall totals in the popular Facebook group, Who Got the Rain?

At Westbrook, just outside Toowoomba, Queensland, Arlie Felton-Taylor wrote that their annual total of 173mm was the lowest since they moved to the property in 2013.

Ms Felton-Taylor compared the total to the old Westbrook weather station, which was open between 1890 and 2010 but is now shut.

The comparison showed that 2019 was the second driest year on record, with the driest being exactly 100 years before in 1919 when 281mm fell.

"The @BOM_Qld data shows the mean average annual rain is 663.6 mm for that old Westbrook weather station," she wrote.

"Cambooya has ceased official recordings too and has never been that low."

Ben Sawyer wrote that 2019 had delivered a total of 198mm at Mt Monopoly, 15km north of Uralla, NSW. "Missed our average by 600mm. Hoping this one is wetter for all!," he wrote.

Edward Rees from Ivanhoe, NSW, posted that he'd recorded just 127mm for the year, with only 2mm falling in the past five months, and just 138mm in 2018 and 130mm in 2017.

"Hope to catch up in 2020 at Peneena Ivanhoe," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Dave Cole, said he'd only received 99mm for the year at Warren. NSW.

Even in areas of Queensland more accustomed to higher rainfall the totals were well below average.

Melanie Hibbert recorded 355mm for 2019 at Nankin via Rockhampton.

"Our big dam (is) now dry for the first time in 19 years of living here," she said.

"Our best year was 2013 with 1927.50 mm over 68 days."

Dust storms, floods in north Queensland and ongoing bush fires have also featured heavily in 2019's weather events.

Who got the Rain? Facebook Group administrator, Jenny Gordon, who hails from a property south west of Longreach, Queensland, reported that her property had received 470mm of the year but that "all but 28mm" of that was received earlier in 2019.

"2019 rain wise was a good year although receiving it came with mixed emotions," she wrote.

"Feb and March as we jumped for joy we also watched the north be decimated while to the west and down south the rain line stopped and gave nought. Each day I count our blessings."

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The story Farmers share horror 2019 rain totals first appeared on Farm Online.


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