There is rain and there is rain. Then there is South Australia. The average rainfall for Adelaide is considerably less than much of the rest of Australia. I used to live in Queensland and moved to Adelaide in the late 1980s, about the same time that Queensland started its extended length of drought.
When I lived there, we had floods. Big floods. I remember the 1974 floods; something that people started talking about again after the recent Brisbane floods (which were not as bad as the 1974 flood). Until then, there has been a whole generation that has never experienced floods on the scale that was quite common for Queensland.
When I was a child my grandmother used to say: “It is either a drought or a flood.” She was correct. There is a usual cyclic le Nin0/la Nina (for more info on this see the following links).
In general, we used to have about 8 years of dry and 8 years of flood. That changed in the 1990s and beyond (part of the climate change effects?) giving us extended periods of dry. Here in Adelaide, I have had to adapt to the changed conditions – from tropical to Mediterranean. Finally I could grow roses and not have as much mould! The problem is that South Australia was going through the same extended dry spell as the rest of Australia. I was not getting a normal taste of the weather.
I used to get called the ‘bloody ex-Queenslander’ when I commented on
- the storms; That’s not a real storm! (I have been through two cyclones)
- the showers; That’s not real rain! (I remember 12 inches over one night)
- the hail (the size of the little fingernail usually); Hail? ha! Try hail the size of your fist!
- lightning. (sometimes it can get impressive, I must admit but there is usually very little rain with it)
- the winds; (see cyclone comments).
Yep, I am a pain in the butt!
This week has been almost impressive; The winds have been over 35 km/hr. Not as impressive as a cyclone, I will give you that, but they have been loud. You can hear the wind roaring up the hill like a wild animal on the run. The windows and doors have been rattling. The rain has been blowing at a 45 degree angle and you can see the lines as each wave front of rain peels across the road. Along the coast, we have had 90-100 km/h winds and we have ‘damaging wind’ warnings with power outages and trees down.
Currently we have flood watches along the Mt Lofty Ranges and much of the south of South Australia. We had achieved the monthly rain for July, in the first few days. Though we have only had 37mm of rain for the month so far, it has been almost impressive at times… Almost real rain!
Today we went for a drive in the Adelaide hills. We drove though thick cloud and heavy (yes, I admit it) rain which steamed across the windscreen. The cloud cover has warmed up the weather. Today was 8 degrees in the hills; yesterday was only 5 degrees. We have had much colder this winter. We may even get some hail tomorrow.
Poor Adelaide is being battered by winds and drenched with rain and this ‘little black duck’ can’t be happier. It is almost like real weather … but colder.