Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The rain plays catch-up

Most of the last 2 months has been rather dry in the Carwoola area (following a very dry Autumn), leading bush-fire types to rumble that the dry vegetation meant there was going to be a very bad fire season.

We scored some reasonable rain on Friday (9mm) and Saturday (10mm) and the forecast for 16 and 17 September promised much more: somewhat over 50mm. It duly started to drizzle about mid-day but very little rain had fallen by late afternoon, so I wondered if this was the BoM's Big Mistake of the Year.  Then it started to rain properly and it merely became BoMs Slight Understatement.

At 5:48 this was the radar image.
 I went up to have a look at our rainwater tank and the overflow was running strongly.  This meant that we were using electricity to pump water up to the tank only to have it run back down the hill.  It looked likely that the pump would be running more or less constantly for the next 24 hours.  So I turned it off, making arrangements for the outflow from the catch-tank to dump on to the lawn.

By 9pm those arrangements were still leading to the water filling up the pit around the catch-tank so I opened the gutters to let the water run on to the ground (attaching hoses so that it didn't simply flood the foundations).

It rained, quite heavily all night, recording 19mm to midnight and by 5:15 on Tuesday 17th, when I got up, another 23mm.   This was the radar image at that time.

The doppler radar image was strange.
This seems to show a strong wind from the SE over much of the screen, but a light wind from the NW in the upper left quarter.  Whatever: it is now 6:15, daylight, and we have scored another 10mm in the last hour.  I have been out and taken some photographs.

This first image is the outflow from the new drain across the back of the house.  Working well!
 Here we see the junction of Whiskers Creek and our drive.  This is about as high as I have ever seen it.  It will be "interesting" to see what is going on under the water when it recedes.  There was a bit more scouring than I expected and the contractors will be coming to inspect later today.
 Looking back up the drive, the water diversion works have worked well..
 This is the view of the Creek upstream from the crossing.
By 6:45 - about 14 hours after it started to rain we have scored about 58mm.  Very little (thus far) since then.  We went for an exercise walk around our block, getting these views of the 'other creek'.

Around mid-day (we were up to 66mm in 20hours) I took The Beast out to see what was going on in the 'hood.  My friend Julienne had predicted that the crossing of the Molonglo would be shut.  And so it was: the depth indicator is nicely on the 1m deep mark.  (Our road contractor is being very reasonable about sorting out the drive and mentioned that the creek on Williamsdale Rd at Burra was 1.9m deep this morning!)
 Looking to the SE suggests that the paddocks are more useful for farming trout than the usual Herefords!
Going a little further down Captains Flat Rd shows Chimney Creek to be in spate.  Here is upstream...
 ... and downstream.
By 1415 it was still raining quite heavily, but at least the wind seemed to have sorted itself out so that it is only coming from one direction.
On the conventional radar the system seems to be spinning a little.  If it spun a little faster - and it was Summer -  I'd be calling this a cyclone!

As at 4 pm we have had 75mm, and I have just heard from my friend Denis of Nature of Robertson fame that he has had 166mm - all of which has soaked into his soil!

I am now awaiting the first rumble from bush fire types that the rain has led to growth in the fuel load which means there was going to be a very bad fire season.


Denis Wilson said...

My comments on the RFS facebook page were deleted.
I asked why, seeing as they were polite and factual. The reply i got was an invitation to speak with the Fire Commander, and that the comments might have "caused alarm" amongst readers.
I had merely reported that many Reports (Royal Commissions, etc) had stated that many houses get destroyed by Hazard Reduction Burns get out of control.
The next day, it happened in the Lower Blue Mountains and - it was reported on the News that RFS headquarters had admitted that a HR Burn had got out of control.
That's the sound of me having the last laugh.
Nothing so dangerous as telling the truth.

Flabmeister said...

Very well said Denis. There have been several instances of that nature recently.