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Widespread rainfall warmly welcomed

News release
17 December 2021

November rains have filled dams, given parched land a good drink and put smiles on the faces of many landholders.

All parts of the region received rain with the biggest falls scattered between districts.

The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board supported the installation of weather stations in regional locations where weather data was not readily available. The weather station at Curnamona recorded 124.8mm in November over three separate rainfall events – and it was the first substantial falls on the property in many years.

Nearby, on Mulyungarie, 64mm was recorded in two separate rainfall events in late November. It meant that managers Dean and Emma Lovis-Hotchin were unable to leave their property for five days, with some areas of the property still underwater in mid December.

Emma said after falling short in rainfall predictions for the past six years, to have the rain arrive on her birthday was not a bad present to receive

“It’s absolutely spectacular – and it’s so widespread and it was hard not to be emotional after seeing photos from around the district,” she said.

When husband Dean went out to check the road conditions on the Friday afternoon and pick up his daughter from school in Broken Hill he was unable to do so, with water coming over the sideboards of the car in some areas, she said.

The road was closed due to safety reasons as there is damage requiring urgent repairs with extensive damage to the roads. The airstrip was also under water.

“The rain filled several massive dams and swamps. Satchel’s Lake, north east of the homestead has been dry since May six years ago.

“There’s still water soaking in the woolshed yards.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in 10 years – neither has Dean and he’s been here for 13.”

Mobella in the Kingoonya district received 76.3mm in November, which was followed by 24.6mm in early December.

Manager Tash Masters said the November falls had been good soaking rains, while the December rain fell evenly over three-quarters of the property.

“There’s a bit of water in a few dams, but the ground is green and I haven’t needed to run water,” she said.

The property had received 191mm for 2021 until 10 December, which followed 170mm in 2020, 26.1mm in 2019 and 128.5mm in 2018.

“The long range forecast is showing that we can maybe expect some more rain the week before Christmas. That would be a great present,” Tash said.

Exceptionaly good falls were also recorded at Hiltaba 134.4mm, Arkaroola 115.3mm, Yardea 110mm, Boolcoomatta 108.3mm, Moolawatana 104mm, Quorn 96mm and Blinman 94.6mm.

Elsewhere in the SA Arid Lands, the William Creek weather station recorded 52.2mm in November, Wintinna’s 26.4mm and Cowarie’s 11.2mm.

You can access the data from weather stations at Cowarie (Marree-Innamincka), Curnamona (North East Pastoral), Mobella (Kingoonya), William Creek (Marla-Oodnadatta) and Wintinna (Marla Oodnadatta) on our website at https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/saal/land/climate/weather-stations

The Outback Communities Authority through the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Program, secured funding for the program, with the weather station project delivered by staff from the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board.