Remember period of great drought

IN the 10-month period from December 1901 to October 1902 only 155 millimetres of rain fell across the Dubbo district.

It was the period of the Great Drought, when thousands upon thousands of head of livestock perished because of the lack of feed and water.

We're fortunate that 110 or so years later seasonal conditions aren't quite as bad.

There is plenty of irrigation water running down the Macquarie River and crops of cotton, lucerne, corn and stock foods are being produced quite adequately.

In fact the forecast is for possible showers on Sunday and even on Tuesday.

Rain for Christmas, now that would be a present all would appreciate.

There are plenty of lawns in Dubbo not being watered and the paddocks on the properties around the city are starting to look pretty bare.

In 1902 when the rains came in December the relief was only partial. It wasn't until January 1903 the creeks were set running again.

But just to prove there is no consistency in the weather a heatwave hit the region with temperatures in Bourke during January 1903 hitting 121.5F, which is 49.72 degrees Celsius.

At the same time North Bourke sweltered under 125F (51.66 deg C). The temperatures were compared with the heatwave of 1896 when a number of those living out west died because of the heat and birds were said to have dropped out of the sky from the effects of the hot weather.

Let's hope we don't get those temperatures any time soon.


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