With close to 600mm in the rain gauge since the week prior to Christmas, including one big day with close to 200mm [ many other places with much more than this, and on multiple days] the monsoon arrived in serious mode. Ground developed a serious squelch - absolutely saturated!
Unfortunately these conditions also accentuate conditions for the nasty soil borne disease meliodosis - often fatal. Our neighbour was infected and although now on the mend, had a nasty,awful, horrible time and seems to have suffered quite badly with pain. He is recovering, thankfully. At least locally in Darwin, if you present at emergency at the hospital, they are sufficiently aware of the issue to start treatment quickly - a major step to prevent death. I noted when at the doctor myself a few days ago - there was a poster about the disease on the wall - a needed warning!
The rain was however, a pleasant relief, given the dry, yet humid weather of the past two months of so.
Now - New Years Eve - it is drier, with no rain for a couple of days, although humid with rain around - just not in the rain gauge!
The expected cyclone fizzled into a tropical low as it moved SE across the NT- mainly because it failed to move over water and pick up intensity, yet it was an important and major event, as it moved SE to South bringing RAIN .
It brought good drought breaking rain to the parched areas of western and south western Queensland, Barkly Tablelands, the SE of the Northern Territory and is continuing to move south with more rains forecast at least for today in those regions.
Western Queensland was in serious drought - and had been for some years. I bet there are some glimmers of smiles on property owners faces now. BUT........it will be a long and difficult time back to recovery, as most places have got rid of stock and no doubt prices for new stock will rise as demand escalates over the next few weeks or more.
They do need more rain- not necessarily huge quantities just a more normal rainy season the help rebuild pastures, vegetation and soil cover. Lets hope they really have a decent rainy season.
For Darwin, a few days without rain are welcome - gets the solar HWS charged up, and allows a few activities outside. The cloud cover is still around which keeps pool water temperatures a bit lower, and the monsoon wind flow is still strong at around 20 - 35km/hr from the west, also creating a few miserable choppy waves at local beaches.
Still plenty of green tree frogs around at night though, enjoying the change in weather! AND - so far seen no cane toads this past week or two. Even a healthy and fat Torres Strait Pigeon or two around.
|Torres Strait pigeon on African Mahogany tree|