Patchy rain across Narrabri Shire at the end of last week and over the weekend delivered falls ranging from very heavy to just a few millimetres and even zero.

Falls in some parts of the Shire were minimal, others torrential.

“It’s fantastic, I’m even happy to sacrifice my washing on the line,” joked Max Pringle who was collecting donations for the Red Cross in Maitland Street last Thursday when the rain poured down.

Some areas received downpours.

The Narrabri Shire weather website gives a comprehensive picture of the spread of rain thanks to its 51 strategically placed weather recording stations.

The weather website reveals that disappointing falls of 1.8mm at Merah North over the past seven day period contrasted with 50.7mm at one Bellata site and 5.2 at another Bellata site.

Boggabri was drenched with 52 mm, the Australian Cotton Research Institute 58.2, an Edgeroi recording site received 9.2mm.

The Narrabri weather site collected 38.7mm and Narrabri West 18.4mm.

Kaputar Road was one of the high recordings, with 88.4mm.

Kaputar Road resident Stephen Beale said his rain came in at 60-plus mm on Thursday followed by 29 the next day.

“It was pretty good,” he said.

“It came down hard and fast.

“The ground was like a paddy field.”

Steve and Rosemary are not farmers but have stock and the feed will get a boost. The couple also has a spirit distillery.

“Our agave plants which we use to distil our mezcal spirit are pretty tough, but even they had been struggling in the drought,” he added.

The patchy nature of the rainfall was illustrated by the mid scale recording of 39.2mm at Mt. Dowe, often the weather station which logs the heaviest rain.

Nearly 50 per cent of the weather stations recorded 20mm or more.

Around Edgeroi the rain averaged 16 to 20mm, with some heavier falls interspersed. However, an Edgeroi farmer said in summary his view was that some forage crops would go in for feed, but it was unlikely any summer crops would be sown, at this stage, it was ‘a bit too late.’

“I think the majority of farmers would hope to bank their moisture ahead of a winter crop,” he said.

“If we could just get a metre of moisture and then sow our winter crop in April-May. If we can get some follow up rain, an inch or so would bring a lot more benefit.

“The pleasing thing is the weather seems to have changed, we have more humidity. Instead of those dry and westerly winds every day things have turned around a little bit, – the system’s changed.

“Basically farmers probably won’t do too much now, as far as summer cropping goes, and wait and store a bit of moisture for their winter cropping – chick peas, wheat, barley, legumes crops -and hopefully that will be the goal.”

Wee Waa agricultural consultant Steve Windress said it was a “typical storm event” with isolated rainfall.

“You were lucky if you were able to get under it,” said Mr Windress.

“What we need is general rainfall.”

Mr Windress said the rain event would only help a “handful” of farmers in the Wee Waa area.

Rainfall recordings in Wee Waa vary with reports of 5mm in town but up to  36mm recorded at the golf club with 16mm falling last Thursday and another 16mm falling last Friday.


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