Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Wet Season 2017

Certainly been a very wet season across most of north Australia, in contrast to the past few seasons.

In Darwin there has been few dry days since Christmas 2016, and among the wet days some VERY wet run of days, with a few 3-4 day periods exceeding 150- 200 mm totals, with some locations receiving double that.

Really only been one notable cyclone across the north coast areas of Australia with another cyclone a small Category 1 in the lower reaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria.  The blow that went across north of the north coast of the Top End was most of the time a tropical depression but there was strong winds and a lot of rain, with a cyclone declared once the system moved west into the Timor Sea, and then landfall happened as a Category 2 system in the north of WA between Wyndham / Kalumburu.  Relatively minor damage occurred thankfully from both systems.

The wet season is far from over, and it is still raining with showers and storms predicted for the Top End this week and into next week.  It is still too early to think there is no chance of another cyclone.

Importantly, soil moisture and aquifer recharge has been steadily occurring, and many of the shallow local aquifers are overflowing with excess being discharged as surface flow.  Of considerable importance the Darwin River dam has overflowed and is actually overflowing this week again for the 2nd or 3rd time this wet season.  A full dam going into the dry is a critical and positive factor for local water supply.

Elsewhere.......the mighty Ord Dam is seriously overflowing..........with water likely to flow over the spillway for some months yet.  Last data I checked, the amount of water in the main dam was more than 153% of design capacity, up over 72% from this time last year.  There will be some great photos no doubt of this event.

Livestock prices are still very good, and there are some mostly positive changes for cattle weights going into the Indonesian market.  Local stock producers are generally very positive over these changes but supply is tight.......as a lot have already been sold in earlier years and replacements have been slower to arrive.

A good wet season generally is a positive feature in the north.  Now lets look forward to a great dry season.  I am sure most residents would like to see and appreciate some cooler and drier weather over the next month or so as it certainly has been hot and wet.

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