Monday, February 04, 2008

Bellingen gets rain whenever it damn well pleases

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It seems that it's been raining for at least six weeks in my town. Maybe eight weeks, most days. Today the rain has been intermittently heavy.

Often I've found that Bellingenites will say something about "the Wet Season" -- and they usually mean January to March -- and I have to embarrass both of us by respectfully (I trust) pointing out that there is no such thing.

There have been floods in Bellingen in every month of the year. March can be wet, but there are years on record when March has been as dry as a bone. As a matter of fact, June has proved to be wetter than January - March.

You can pretty well rely on August and September having cold nights and perfect, sunny days with rarely a drop of rain. The nights are good for fires and mulled wine, but by 10 am you've stripped down to shorts and a T-shirt. (And I've seen frosts as late as Spring Equinox.) But apart from that, as this chart shows, don't go counting on any such thing as Bellingen climatic regularity. It's a commonly told myth in this burgh that we have a Wet Season, but it's still a myth. We get about five feet of rain in an average year, and it might be said that we have a Dry Season (August-September), but that's about the long and short of it. Still, I find the myth as well entrenched today as I found it 30 years ago. Old tales die slowly.

Meanwhile ... can someone lend me some scuba gear please?

(PS: Bellingen's vegetative growth rate is phenomenal -- a result of deep volcanic soils, plenty of rainfall and a warm climate. I mowed a friend's lawn recently; the section near the street was mainly paspalum. Six days after I mowed it, the paspalum was 12 inches high. Is it any wonder the place is so green?)

Bellingen photos

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