Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain

raindrop.jpg I usually save my thoughts on weather for On The Farm (the other blog), but this summer in the Waipara Valley – especially the last 24 hours – has set me thinking. As the climate warms, Canterbury is projected to see an increased frequency of drought conditions. At the same time, the rain that does fall will become more intense, which could lead to run-off and erosion problems. Summer 2007/8 has been dry and hot (2007 was the driest at Limestone Hills since 1998, only 496 mm in the farm rain gauge). The hills are brown, the sheep are thin, but grape growers are happy. Yesterday afternoon, the skies darkened, thunder started rumbling, and the rain came. At 8 am today we’d had 92 mm in 24 hours (most it fell overnight, and it’s still raining at the time of writing). Other places have had a lot more, and there have been flash floods. It’s nothing by West Coast standards of course, but it’s good and heavy in North Canterbury terms.

So if you were to ask me what will Canterbury’s climate be like in 2030, I’d have to answer – just like this summer…

[Caveat: Yes, I know that we’ve got a La Nina and that one year does not a climate make.]

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