Editorial - Saturday, July 12: Rain dance may bring us relief

IT'S been a while since I sat at my desk on a Friday wishing a little precipitation might come our way.

It's not that I want to rain on anyone's parade - far from it - it is simply that it's very dry and being someone who doesn't get home from work until it's dark, it's been a wee bit numbing watering the vegies in the first light of day.

A quick check of the weather websites sheds light on why the place is so parched.

So far this year just 561 mm of rain has been recorded in Coffs Harbour. That's less than half of the long-term average and well down on last year's 1642 mm.

Add in some ripper frosts, which incidentally are worse this year because of the lack of soil moisture, and slim pickings lie ahead for cows, horses and native herbivores.

The long-term outlook makes me nervous.

The experts are increasingly confident we're about to be hit by the return of an El Nino weather pattern with a 70% chance of near-average rainfall for the rest of winter and then, if ocean temperatures stay warm, a drier than normal spring across large swathes of the country.

If anyone's got a rain dance that is shown to work, I'll gladly give you a front page next week, and even throw in some vegies.

Graeme Singleton,
Editor



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