The dry season is here

open woodland
The lower slopes of Castle Hill in late April

The Dry arrived this week, with an almost-audible thump: humidity halved between Tuesday and Wednesday. After hanging around the high fifties (RH at 9 am, figures from this chart) for the first three weeks of the month, it was 22, 32 and 52% on Wednesday – Friday this week, and the 3 pm figures are comparable. (All my statistics are from the BoM, especially their climate data page.)

What about rain? Well, our dove orchids were nearly right when they predicted rain for the 23rd, since we got a reasonable shower (we reckoned 9mm here in Mundingburra, but the airport only recorded 5mm) on Monday 20th, and it was our best rain all month. On the other hand, it was no torrential tropical downpour.

Townsville has had a very dry “Wet” (yes, I think we need the quotation marks!) and I don’t expect much more rain now for six months; our winters have been getting very slightly wetter over the last 60 years but the total from May – October is still only about 120 mm. (Incidentally, our driest month used to be July but is now September.) The photo at the top of this post is one I took last Sunday on the lower slopes of Castle Hill, on a Wildlife Queensland monthly walk; the early morning light makes it look pretty, but the grass is already dry and there won’t be much green there by August, let alone the end of the Dry.

climate-averages-1951-1980 climate-averages-1981-2010

The much bigger Wet of 2010-11 ended at the beginning of April with a similar, but bigger, final gift of rain, while last year’s change of season, just a week later than this year’s, came in with the same abrupt drop in humidity and overnight temperatures but no rain before it.

This is post number 500 in just over four years of Green Path, according to the methodical silicon intelligence which lurks behind the public content. I’m not sure that I ever expected it to last this long, but I’m pleased that it has.

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