Remember when it used to rain?

Loose Brown 26 March 2009 83

Apologies all – the water use thread has sparked some thoughts.

I have many fond memories of growing up in Canberra. One of my favourites was walking in the rain when I was delivering junk mail. I used to get sopping wet walking around O’Connor and Lyneham – but I was a kid and didn’t really care. I knew that a warm shower and trakky daks were waiting for me at home.

I remember the lead up to sports or swimming carnivals and the like. We would listen to the radio to see if it was going to rain – it was a real possibility. If it was raining, we’d listen too because Turner Primary or Lyneham High would announce that the carnival was postponed and to come to school as normal for a day inside instead.

Riding around the place was great in the rain. Sometimes the drains would block up and you’d race your BMX through the water while standing up on the seat to avoid getting wet.

We’d all crane our necks in the car when passing over bridges to see how full the stormwater drains were.

Rain meant the half-pipe at the Belconnen skate park wasn’t an option – you’d slip over too much, so you’d think of something else to do.

The base of Bruce Ridge had a permanent reed bed pond that was always full of water and we’d trap tadpoles in glass jars and watch them grow legs at home.

Our hockey club was raising money to install a drainage system on Southwell Park to make it less muddy (no-one had heard of greywater recycling)!

Old people had plastic bags over their bicycle saddles so they could taken them off and use the dry seat when they had finished at the shops.

Mum used to be annoyed by ‘grass stains’ on our clothing.

I used to own and regularly use a rain jacket.

I’m sick of the extended, never farking ending drought/global warming/impending ice age/figment of my imagination.

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83 Responses to Remember when it used to rain?
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belvereder belvereder 4:07 pm 30 Mar 09

welkin31 said :

BoM drought maps that you can all make at;
http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi
show crystal clear that the ACT is NOT in drought over 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 or 24 month periods back from Feb 09. Only the 36 month period map shows we are in drought.
This means that the frequent claims that we are in drought are ignoring the last two years of medium band rain and relying on low rainfall from 2 to 3 years ago.

Hmmm, so what you are saying is that the empty lake george is just suffering from no rain 3 yrs ago and has since filled up with invisible water.
there has been rain in the last couple of years but always in small quantities and spread out. We haven’t had ground soaking rain in years. Even with Canberrans excessive over use of water our catchment dams have dropped 13% in the last 12 months giving us about 3 yrs more water with “medium band rainfall”.
I remember it raining every swimming carnival(pre civic pool bubble) and school fete like clockwork. ahhh the memories

welkin31 welkin31 7:13 pm 28 Mar 09

BoM drought maps that you can all make at;
http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi
show crystal clear that the ACT is NOT in drought over 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 or 24 month periods back from Feb 09. Only the 36 month period map shows we are in drought.
This means that the frequent claims that we are in drought are ignoring the last two years of medium band rain and relying on low rainfall from 2 to 3 years ago.

monomania monomania 6:47 pm 28 Mar 09

SammyLivesHere said :

as Global Warming has to be art of the reason the winter rains have gone! On Friday I was caught in a rain downpour in the City, on Weds I was also caught in a big downpour in Barton, so there is rain – it’s just hard to tell these days where it’s going to fall.

O for goodness sake. It’s a drought clown. If you are so bloody good at research you should realise that the weather in the middle of a drought does not indicate that that’s what is going to happen with a 2 degree rise in temperature or that it will never rain again.

It’s arguments like your’s that undermine the belief that global warming is occurring and due to man’s activities.

SammyLivesHere SammyLivesHere 5:33 pm 28 Mar 09

Yes, whilst investigating the storm water issues in the inner south I have been told of ‘the old Canberra’ weather pattern of days of long and steady rain….. Having been here only 8 years, and living in the inner south I have to say in all this time I can remember probably only a week a year of long, lovely, steady rain…. but the research also shows that Canberra has been subjected to many, many thunderstorms, lightning storms, hail storms; causing damage to houses, flash flooding, some deaths and lots of car accidents…. March was unusually dry – last year my home was under 40cm of water! mmm until my home was flooded I didn’t even notice how much it does rain here. Although it may not be the old long days of rain – when it rains here – it just comes down from the heavens in 10 very short devastating minutes…. turning off the lights tonight for 1-hour will hopefully help – as Global Warming has to be art of the reason the winter rains have gone! On Friday I was caught in a rain downpour in the City, on Weds I was also caught in a big downpour in Barton, so there is rain – it’s just hard to tell these days where it’s going to fall.

monomania monomania 3:13 pm 27 Mar 09

peterh said :

no, I am sure that if the water supply was nasty, everyone would be drinking tap water.

?????????????

peterh said :

I just think it is a shame that we lose drinking water to other water uses. can’t fix it, but I wonder what will happen when the levels get too low?

We are not in the middle of the Kalahari desert. We are in a drought. If the drought persists we may need to adjust.

All taps off. A spigot at the local shops for us to collect our 10 litres a day per person drinking water.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 1:24 pm 27 Mar 09

peterh said :

I do miss having a lawn, and letting the kids run through sprinklers, but I can always take them down to the oval in kambah, the big sprinklers are working nearly every day…

Bring the spawn to Snowtown, lush green lawns and sprinklers running every day.

peterh peterh 1:11 pm 27 Mar 09

monomania said :

peterh said :

Canberrans are spoilt with great water. shame of it is that the water supply is both drinking and using….

Once again rattling on about drinking and non drinking water. Can’t see the distinction if it’s relatively inexpensive to treat all water to the drinking water standard as it is in Canberra’s case. Taking water directly from a river or dam is far more cost effective that water harvesting, and greywater treatment or having a third pipe to supply non potable water.

no, I am sure that if the water supply was nasty, everyone would be drinking tap water. I just think it is a shame that we lose drinking water to other water uses. can’t fix it, but I wonder what will happen when the levels get too low?

monomania monomania 1:07 pm 27 Mar 09

peterh said :

Canberrans are spoilt with great water. shame of it is that the water supply is both drinking and using….

Once again rattling on about drinking and non drinking water. Can’t see the distinction if it’s relatively inexpensive to treat all water to the drinking water standard as it is in Canberra’s case. Taking water directly from a river or dam is far more cost effective that water harvesting, and greywater treatment or having a third pipe to supply non potable water.

Granny Granny 12:41 pm 27 Mar 09

That is very sobering, ant. You’re right. I have never experienced this. It wasn’t real to me at all. Thank you for helping me to understand a bit better.

peterh peterh 12:37 pm 27 Mar 09

speaking as someone who came from adelaide, and never, ever, on pain of death drank water from the town supply (there are just some things you never do) – mainly due to the taste, but mostly due to the taste, colour and viscosity, we all drank tank water. if the gum trees overhead changed the colour to brown, oh, well. Canberrans are spoilt with great water. shame of it is that the water supply is both drinking and using…. Brown water or cloudy water doesn’t bother me none. I do miss having a lawn, and letting the kids run through sprinklers, but I can always take them down to the oval in kambah, the big sprinklers are working nearly every day…

ant ant 11:54 am 27 Mar 09

I do remember those days and days of sustained rain, it just rained. Nowadays we might get a couple of hours of this, if really really lucky. Lately, our best totals have come from storms, but if you get a lot of heavy rain over a short period, most of it runs off, it doesn’t geta chance to really sink in.

As for totals, Canberra’s totals over the last few years are shabby. Sometimes we get a good month, but the overall trend is scary. I remember when the Monaro region was in a perpetual drought, and that has crept north to us.

The rainfall total for March is going to be miniscule, and already some weather-types are feeling despondant about april too, evidently there’s nothing good in the offing.

I notice that town people often think we’re doing OK for rain because there was a storm at drive-home time, and they mutter about not being allowed to use drinking water to wash their cars, and seem to think that it’s a government plot. The people of Goulburn could explain that, once the water supply runs dry, there’s no water. The government can’t wave a magic wand and make some.

Hopefully the various governments can make the hard decisions to ensure that city people never have that sinking experience that many country people have had: you turn the tap, and a dirty trickle dribbles out.

shauno shauno 11:51 am 27 Mar 09

Move to the west coast of the south island of NZ. I just came back from a place there that gets an average around 12 metres a year. Mind you the week I was there most of the time above the fox glacier climbing a few peaks next to mt Tasman it was bone dry lol.

welkin31 welkin31 8:14 am 27 Mar 09

Can I just mention that we all tend to have short memories but data show there is nothing exceptional dry about this decade when you examine long term rain data. Anyone who can use spreadsheet software can easily make graphs of rain history by downloading monthly data free from this helpful BoM webpage.
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/data/weather-data.shtml
You can also download station lists or you can get station numbers from maps eg
http://www.bom.gov.au/hydro/flood/nsw/southcoast.shtml
run you mouse over station dots to get station number. The 6 figure numbers starting 57 can not be used, but the 5 figure station numbers work in the top BoM webpage.
For those who want a quick look at long term rain history graphics, these are the only examples I am aware of, lets know if there are others on the net.
http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=179
The Water category has some provoking articles.
http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?cat=5
Finally a note on our short memories, March has not ended yet the months Nov-Dec-Jan were pretty fair for ACT rain but we are all complaining !

Re comment 5 by Pommy Bastard, I agree it is puzzling, happens many times, be nice to hear explanation from an informed observer.

soulodious soulodious 11:36 pm 26 Mar 09

lol that’s very civil of you guys and gals above 🙂

It’s sad when one goes outside, to check what that strange sound on the roof is, realising it is rain 🙁

The rain today was excellent tho, bring it on

astrojax astrojax 10:19 pm 26 Mar 09

see, the old man is right! ; )

Granny Granny 10:18 pm 26 Mar 09

Oh, astro! I’m sorry for misunderstanding you. You’re one of my favourite people here, which is why I felt a bit sad. I thought I must have said something to make you upset. I’d love to have a ginger beer with you!

: )

Happy Granny!

astrojax astrojax 10:10 pm 26 Mar 09

oh dear, i seem to have caused offence and i humbly and unreservedly apologise, granny – it was all, as bigfeet alludes, all playful banter. i seem to owe you a ginger beer or something similar when we meet. really, i enjoy your posts and was having fun, i am really sorry if i have been misinterpreted… please accept my sincere apology for any upset.

dang uninflexional internet. really, don’t mind me, i try only to follow my father’s words – it’s nice to be nice.

thanks, bigfeet. ; )

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 10:06 pm 26 Mar 09

There are holes in the sky
where the rain gets in,
they are only little holes
which is why the rain is thin.

Spike Milligan (Circa 1970)

SheepGroper SheepGroper 9:54 pm 26 Mar 09

There’s a word for the distinctive smell when it starts to rain after a dry spell http://wordsmith.org/words/petrichor.html

I miss seeing lots of birds around, and watching them bathing up in the trees, either in the rain or rubbing themselves against wet leaves.

But I really miss being able to buy bales of good lucerne for $1/bale *sigh*

bd84 bd84 9:35 pm 26 Mar 09

It does rain, always the day after I wash my car, and of course it rains dirt.

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