Patrick Leary, Michael Nowara and Clancy Leary play scrabble during the rain.
Patrick Leary, Michael Nowara and Clancy Leary play scrabble during the rain. Rob Wright

Rain fails to ruin holiday fun

WHEN it comes to visiting family, they don’t say ‘rain, hail or shine’ for nothing.

Sisters Chris Nowara and Philippa Ray travelled from Melbourne and Tasmania to see family on the Coffs Coast and are not concerned by the wet weather. In fact, Ms Ray relishes not having to soak the kids in sunscreen.

“We pick our moment to go swimming when the rain holds off and seek shelter when needed,” Ms Ray said.

“The rain has not affected our level of enjoyment, fun and happiness. There are plenty of ways to work around the weather.”

Unfazed by the dreary weather, the families entertained themselves with a game of scrabble before lunch.

Ms Nowara says there are plenty of indoor activities to be enjoyed with family. “It’s been two years since we saw one another and the main thing is we’re all together, the weather can’t change that,” she said.

The Nowara and Leahy families are staying at the Split Solitary Beach Holiday Park where the rain has so far only proven to be of nuisance value

Manager Hayley Barry said the caravan park is nearly full despite the weather.

“The weather hasn’t affected our business in the slightest. We still have people ringing at 11pm asking whether we have room,” she said.

Owner David Barry said he heard reports, however, of an exodus from parks in the Northern Rivers and on the Gold Coast.

He said occupancy rates had dropped by 30 per cent in some caravan parks due to the ongoing bad weather.

Locally it has been a soggy start to summer, and the immediate outlook isn’t looking encouraging.

So far there have only been five rain-free days in December with 380.4 millimetres recorded up to noon yesterday.

The wettest December on record was in 1955 when 406mm fell.

The long-term average rainfall for December in Coffs Harbour is 142.3mm.

The wettest month of 2010 has been October when 425mm fell but with two days to go one downpour may leapfrog December into the top spot and the record books.

For the year to date the rainfall tally is sitting at 1974.8mm, compared to a long-term average of 1676mm.

Last year the city was saturated with 2733.2mm, and while that seemed like a bucketful of precipitation that reading pales against the wettest year in Coffs Harbour’s history. In 1950 a whopping 3377mm of rain came close to drowning the coast.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology no-one should be putting away their raincoats or umbrellas just yet.

It is forecasting showers to persist until next Tuesday at least.



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