Pondering the Weather….
We check the tanks regularly for dropping water levels, vegies garden need watering, dams are drying up and creeks stop flowing, and we watch as the whole country side turns brown as crops are harvested and grass dries out, and I wondered, are we any different to the residents of the past in our thought about the summer weather?
According to the “Steiglitz Miner & Meredith Shire Advertiser”, dated Saturday 5th February 1898, (120 yrs ago) “The weather this week has been unusually severe, the following is the reading of the thermometer taken at 3pm each day in the shade at the Miner Office in Staughton St, Sunday 102F ( 38.8 C), Monday,100 (37.77) Tuesday 98 (36.6) Wednesday & Thursday 96 (35.5) Friday 102 (38.8)
The following week Saturday 12th February, it was reported “The weather during the week has been very mild compared with previous. Though threatening at times, the long looked for rains did not come till yesterday when a steady downpour commenced. Most of the house holders’ tanks are empty and many have to purchase water carted from the Moorabool River, while others are getting it from wherever they can get it. The following are thermometer reading for the week, Sunday 80F ( 26.6C), Monday 88 ( 31.1) Tuesday 100 ( 37.7) Wednesday 70 ( 21.1) Thursday 71 ( 21.6) Friday 70 ( 21.1) “
Sounds familiar to summer weather today! My thoughts travel to thinking of life in 1890’s, how hot and unforgiving it would have been, and how easy we have it 120 yrs on. Grateful that at least we can wear cooler clothes especially as a women, we don’t have to rely on wood cooking for meals and we have fans, if not air conditioners to cool our homes, and tractors for harvesting, no longer having to walk behind a horse or harvest by hand.
So, what about that important Rain? Have local Rainfall figures changed much over past 140 years?
Research via the Bureau of Meteorology web page shows last year 2018 we had only 424mm rain – 5th driest year on record! The lowest rainfall recorded in 1967 was 356.5mm & in 2006 – 393.20mm. The Highest rainfall was 1970 with 1108mm & 1978- 1021.2mm. (refer Chart) The Rainfall in 1898 was low for Jan 1.5, Feb 12.7, Mar 7.1 mm then rose to average to 50mm per month for rest of the year! So, fingers crossed for 2019.