There are many things that I don’t understand.Advanced mathematics, quantum physics, and complex philosophical concepts are quite beyond me. I don’t understand the intense attitudes and ignorance of vocal racists. I have no idea why my wife waits until I have just walked out of the room before calling me back and telling me that she needs something. I don’t know why our judicial system is so soft on juvenile offenders who repeatedly steal cars and drive dangerously, putting others the road at risk.
I, sure as hell, don’t understand Melbourne’s weather this year.
This is their time of year when we should be playing cricket on the beach, having BBQs on the deck or avoiding sunburn by slapping sunscreen all over our bodies. We were told that because of the El Niño weather pattern, this was going to be a long, dry and hot summer. We could expect a bushfire to break out at any minute.
Instead, we have just had rain.
On the first two days of the New Year, we had 16 mm (about half an inch). It cleared for a few days (staying very humid) and over the last two days, we have had continuous rain that my rain gauge recorded as another 54 mm (over two inches). These 70 mm of rain in the last seven days represent over 10% of Melbourne’s normal nnual rainfall. (And we are not even half way through January) A slow moving weather system has simply drowned us, and places further north.
So, we have been home bound for the last two days. That weather system hovered over Melbourne, barely moving. Yesterday afternoon it was raining more gently and we braved the outdoors to go to the local shopping mall. Before then we would have needed oilskins just to get out the back door.
Today, the sun its shining brightly. Strange! It’s still very humid but more like the sort of day that we should be having at this time of year. I went for a walk in the local park by the river, just to get out and about. It’s quite a coincidence that I met up with my neighbour who was doing the same thing. The last time that she and I met up in a park was also just after some flooding rains 15 months ago.
The Yarra River in flood at Templestowe
I guess that the one redeeming feature about this weather is the state of our water reservoirs. We have some of the cleanest and purest water in the world, here in Melbourne, because our reservoirs are in protected, and carefully controlled, forest catchment areas. When full, they hold about three year’s supply of water for the city. At this time of year, they are typically down to 60% full but right now they are still over 96% full. That’s a good lot of water.
I think that I will go and have a drink and see if I can make some sense of all this. After all. there’s plenty of water available to put in my scotch whiskey.