The Dry season arrives

As I have said before, our seasons do not match the four we inherited from our European ancestors but switch – sometimes very quickly – between hot and wet and cool(er) and dry. This year they switched in the first few days of May.

Temperatures have continued their slow slide. Daytime maximums haven’t dropped much and are still in the high twenties but clear skies are letting all the daytime warmth escape at night and our overnight lows have dropped from the low twenties (19C on April 29 was the lowest for the month) to 16 and 17C.

More dramatically, humidity has dropped like the proverbial stone. The BoM records Relative Humidity at 9am and 3pm, and in April the averages were 70% and 64% respectively, while the readings on the driest days were 58% and 52%. In the first two days of May the readings were still 77 and 74% in the mornings, and 66 and 68% in the afternoons. Then came the drop: over the weekend (May 3 and 4), we had 30% both mornings and 24 and 25% in the afternoons. The cat has developed a sudden passion for the warmth of our laps, but stroking him is (literally) shocking – sparks fly off.

We can now look forward to six or seven months of weather which by most folks’ standards is drop-dead gorgeous, with clear blue skies day after day. Gardeners know that the watering routine has to step up while farmers, of course, have to plan to conserve whatever water they now have, since they won’t get much more until the next Wet arrives in November or December.

Mekong views: boats and the river

The onset of our Wet season, bringing us the monsoon skies I posted here a week ago and reminding me of similar skies in Laos at the end of their Wet, brought back memories of my visit (outlined here) to that country six months ago. This post presents photographs of the Mekong, which dominates Lao geography and landscape, and the boats which serve its travellers. My next will do the same for life along its banks.

storm clouds backlit by the sun
A dramatic skyscape over the Mekong at Vientiane
Mists, river, mountains
Early morning mists on the Mekong near Luang Prabang. The boat in the distance is very similar to the one I travelled on.

Continue reading “Mekong views: boats and the river”

Monsoon skies

Cyclone Oswald is now an ex-cyclone, and an ex-visitor as far as Townsville is concerned, but the monsoonal skies are still here. I took these shots from halfway up Castle Hill this afternoon.

Rain over the Palm Islands
Rain over the Palm Island group
Looking over Ross River estuary to mangroves and Cape Cleveland
Looking over Ross River estuary to mangroves, Cleveland Bay and Cape Cleveland
Magnetic Island with Townsville's North Ward in the foreground
Magnetic Island with Townsville’s North Ward in the foreground