In parts of the Mid North Coast and lower Hunter Valley enough rain has fallen since late February and early March to loosen the grip of the drought.
However, elsewhere especially in the Upper Hunter, the rain has been very patchy and usually arrived in storms where if you’re lucky enough to be under them you can receive a decent downpour, otherwise you miss out.
In fact on some properties in the Merriwa and Cassilis districts the difference of a few hundred meters marks the changes in rainfall measured. Worse still some of the properties, most affected by the 2017 Sir Ivan Bushfire, are still waiting for any worthwhile rain. Everyone is hoping the rain that has arrived marks a true break in the season and given the demand for pasture and cropping seeds as many farmers get onto their paddocks sowing they must hold that belief.
East of Scone in the foothills of the Barrington Tops Rob Scott, ‘Argyle’ said “We're up to about 30mm for the week (March 6).” “Very nice steady rain. We’re in a really bad little pocket here with old timers saying worst in 100 years. Hopefully this is the start of the break,” he said.
Just over the range on the eastern fall Moppy near Gloucester has enjoyed a tremendous turn around in the season with recordings of 156mm in February and a further 168mm up until March 9.
We’re in a really bad little pocket here with old timers saying worst in 100 years. Hopefully this is the start of the breakRob Scott, Stewarts Brook
Further up the coast Mount Seaview has received around 400mm since late February with similar figures for Dorrigo and at Kempsey Airport just over 100mm meanwhile in the lower Hunter Tocal has had 133mm. Arrival of the rain also marked a rise in the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator to 565cents/cwt – up from 520c/cwt in mid-February.