Wetting Australia

Down Under is Wet Around The Middle

Rainfall In Australia is a bit on the high side... 400% worth.

Rainfall In Australia is a bit on the high side... 400% worth.

I’m sure the ‘warmers’ will try to paint this as some kind of “climate catastrophe”, but I’m more interested in what it says about heat flow. All that water falling as rain means that it condensed up high and dumped heat. Furthermore, it will be lowering the surface temperatures all over the outback as it evaporates (to return to the sky again, to dump more heat in the upper atmosphere, and fall again as rain).

What we are seeing here is a direct manifestation of the increased heat flow off planet.

Yes, it will take a while for the oceans to cool enough (they are much more massive than the small amount of water that fell as rain) to show a big impact. But it’s very clear which way the heat is flowing. Out of the oceans, to the tops of clouds, and away. Leaving hail and rain to fall, cooling the land, and repeating until the oceans have cooled too.

The hydrologic cycle showing it’s dominance of CO2, writ large in Australia.

Here is a “live chart” that will change as the months go by:

Recent Australian rainfall map

Recent Australian rainfall map

Original Image Source

h/t to Bob of Castlemaine

In this article in WUWT:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/16/arctic-ice-rebound predicted/

Bob of Castlemaine pointed to this map of rain. He had some interesting things to say in his comment.

Bob of Castlemaine says:
October 16, 2010 at 12:44 am
Unseasonal snow falls in S E Australia. Snow falls down to 500 metres have been reported in parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania with temperatures down to 15 deg C below average for this time of year.
Also, after our prolonged drought, rainfall in this part of the world has been above average for most of the country since around July 2009, with the last couple of months rainfall in many areas double the LTA.

Wonder if all the “Doom and Gloom” over the prolonged drought and how it spelt ‘Global Warming Undoubtedly’ will now be rescinded by the Chicken Little Warmers? Nah…

He had two links embedded in that text. The second takes you to the Australian BOM maps above. The first to an article about the late season unseasonable snows:


Cold snap brings snow to Victoria
Updated Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:53am AEDT

Springtime snow covers the road between Kinglake and Kinglake West. […]

Snow has fallen in parts of Victoria as the state shivers through a cold snap. Temperatures plummeted as a cold front brought heavy rain, strong winds and snow flurries. The Bureau of Meteorology’s Richard Carlyon says snow has fallen down to 500 metres overnight.

“We’ve had reports from Mt Dandenong, possible snow around the Kinglake Ranges and also around Ballarat there’s likely to be some snow flurries,” he said. “The alpine areas are very cold indeed, around about minus seven degrees, so there’s been some snow in the high country as well.” Kinglake resident Ashley Richard says he woke to a blanket of snow. “Measuring off the street out the front of the road, there’s 40 millimetres of snow on the road, just putting a ruler into the ground,” he said. […] Jim Young lives at Fawcett, near Alexandra, and says it is been snowing for some time. “It’s amazing, we woke up to snow, looking out the window the hills here on the farm they’re all sort of covered with snow,” he said. “The hills all of a sudden have brightened up, it looks pretty beautiful actually. “There’s a mob of sheep just up past this windmill and they’ve got the snow on their backs. Amazing.”

“Amazing”. Yeah, I’d say that sounds like something a bit unexpected.

Meanwhile, the state’s north-east is still on flood-watch after rainfall of 50 to 90 millimetres. Mr Carlyon says there are still flood warnings in place. “The main flood warnings are out for the north-east, including a major flood warning for the upper Murray,” he said.

That would be the “Murray” where they were bemoaning the lack of water due to drought (that was actually more due to the dams and their operation…) Wonder if they will now retract all those scary scary stories about an evaportating Murray from Global Warming?

In Conclusion

IMHO, this is just what happens when a major shift of cycles takes place. We had a 30 year ‘hot and dry’ (that had followed a 30 year ‘cold’, that itself had followed an earlier 1930’s dustbowl hot and dry in the USA). And that cycle is now over. We’re headed into the next 30 year cycle that will be “cold and wet”. (Which some of us predicted a year or two ago) and now what have we got?

Cold and wet.

Expect more of it. A couple of decades, at least.


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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10 Responses to Wetting Australia

  1. Paul Hanlon says:

    Nice one, E.M.
    As I wrote on Verity Jones’ posting on WUWT, if we could explain the mechanism that causes that 60 year cycle, we’d go a long way to explaining climate. You also highlighted the 60 yr cycle in your comment. TBH, Jupiter and Saturn doesn’t really do it for me.
    And I’m guessing that our solar funk is going to make things even worse, quite possibly reversing all of the “warming” that we’ve seen since 1850, over the next 20 or so yrs.
    So we’ll have a whole new brand of end of timers to call us de****ists. Looks like the Chinese are getting their wish about us living in interesting times. Batten down the hatches.

  2. Bob Highland says:

    Good post, E.M.

    But the rain is a mixed blessing, depending on your standpoint.

    Ask any farmer – you know, those people who grow stuff to stop people from starving – and he’ll tell you it’s brilliant.

    Ask anyone in the street who has any sympathy and understanding of the nation’s reliance on its agricultural base and you’ll receive a similarly enthusiastic response.

    Ask a tofu-munching, basket-weaving, greenie warmist what he thinks and he’ll go kind of quiet for a moment while he thinks of the worst possible interpretation of the facts, summoning up all of the misinformation he has been deliberately fed and has eagerly consumed for years.

    It’s a confusing moment, because he used to be served up the propaganda that CO2-induced global warming would cause a continental dust bowl, supported by images of parched paddocks full of beast skeletons. But fortunately for him, more recently he has been given the equally alarming news that it causes “climate disruption”, accompanied by pictures of flooded riverside towns. So now he can squeal his warnings of doom based on the new orthodoxy about the forthcoming ruination of us all.

    What really pisses me off is that Australian climate scientists have a comprehensive, if incomplete, understanding of the climate drivers that shape our highly variable temperature and rainfall patterns, but they are decidely reticent about discussing any new knowledge that doesn’t suit the political agenda.

    Unsurprisingly, Australia’s climate story revolves around the fact that we’re completely surrounded by 3 oceans, two warm and one cold, which go though cyclic phases. As well as El Nino/La Nina in the Pacific, there’s the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Antactic Circumpolar Wave in the Southern Ocean.

    The rain that has rehydrated vast tracts of the continent is a result of the shift from El Nino to La Nina at the same time as a reversal of the IOD to the favourable (for us, but not for East Africa) negative phase. South western Australia has missed out because that area is more influenced by the Southern Ocean, which is in the ‘wrong’ phase at present.

    There’s a useful summary of these effects at:

    Click to access

    The article is from 1998, since when our understanding has only increased. Although, strangely, it took them (where “them” = the warming climate science establishment) a further 11 years to officially acknowledge the role of the IOD in the extended drought:


    Earlier this year another group found that there is a massive and relatively rapid current that flows north from Antarctica, equivalent to about 40 x the flow of the Amazon, reaching as far as the North Pacific and North Atlantic. Could that possibly have any effect, one wonders?


    “Climate models will need to reproduce this current if they’re going to capture correctly how the ocean transports heat and therefore be able to provide reliable climate predictions,” he said.

    Dr Rintoul says current climate models have assumed a much weaker current.

    “A stronger overturning circulation would transport more heat from the lower latitudes towards the poles,” he said.

    But he says it is not possible to tell how exactly inclusion of these updated figures will impact on climate because of the complexity of the climate system.”

    At least that’s honest.

    Back to the drawing board, modellers! A little more humility and a lot less certainty, please.

  3. Ian Beale says:

    Relevant comment from


    October 16th, 2010 at 4:39 pm
    I know this is off topic, but its mid-October and here in western Queensland I have had a coat on all day. I have had warmer days than this in July, I can never remember it turning cold in October, September yes; but never mid-October. Unusual weather to say the least, I wonder if it will make the news.

    While on the subject I was listening to the early-morning weather report in late September. The presenter and the usual forecaster from the BOM were discussing the September rainfall totals.
    The BOM forecaster actually said “Yes it is an unusually high rainfall for September, but I’m sure it is probably happened before”. (It has – 70mm this year; 108mm in1921) It would appear that not all the foot soldiers are sticking to the script.

    Checking through the Station(Ranch for our American friends) records I found that September rainfall has exceeded 50 mm 9 times since 1889. This year, in 2008, and the other 7 times are all between 1903 and 1947, so there was a 60 year period when the September never exceeded 50 mm, which just goes to show how long some of these climate cycles are.”

    Binny’s not wrong about the temperatures. Our winter doona is still in use. And we have had 32 inches of rain so far this year (average about 20 inches).

    Soil moisture has been doing something interesting too. Post the drought of 2002 (by the 3 foot posthole test) we haven’t seen a moisture profile – even with 20+ inches Nov – Feb a couple of years ago. We’ve now finally got a moisture profile.

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  5. Greg. Cavanagh says:

    Australia has had two El-Nino’s in a row. That means 2 x 7 years of drought conditions. The chart shows “percentage of mean”, which I’m guessing is comparing the recent rain to the last 10 years of drought conditions as a running average figure.

    In other words; thoughtful comparisons should be made, not just accept that a +400% over mean as being something amaizing.

  6. Bob Highland says:

    No need to guess, Greg; we’re into science around here, where only the facts will do, presuming of course that they haven’t been messed with.

    According to the BoM, these maps are based on monthly data recorded since 1900:


    400% is not necessarily amaizing (sic), but it has put a smile on the face of many a farmer and pastoralist, corn growers included. We can only be thrilled for them now that hope has been restored after a lengthy lean time.

    It seems to have been accepted relatively recently that the Indian Ocean Dipole has an even greater influence on rainfall patterns across much of Australia than El Nino/La Nina cycles.

    We live and learn, and the more we learn the less it seems appropriate to be peremptorily fastening the blame onto poor old CO2, the favourite breakfast food (+ lunch +dinner) of all green stuff.

  7. cementafriend says:

    Chiofio, enjoy your blog
    Here is an apt poem about past climate which could apply now
    SAID HANRAHAN by John O’Brien
    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    In accents most forlorn,
    Outside the church, ere Mass began,
    One frosty Sunday morn.

    The congregation stood about,
    Coat-collars to the ears,
    And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
    As it had done for years.

    “It’s looking crook,” said Daniel Croke;
    “Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad,
    For never since the banks went broke
    Has seasons been so bad.”

    “It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,
    With which astute remark
    He squatted down upon his heel
    And chewed a piece of bark.

    And so around the chorus ran
    “It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”
    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “Before the year is out.”

    “The crops are done; ye’ll have your work
    To save one bag of grain;
    From here way out to Back-o’-Bourke
    They’re singin’ out for rain.

    “They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said,
    “And all the tanks are dry.”
    The congregation scratched its head,
    And gazed around the sky.

    “There won’t be grass, in any case,
    Enough to feed an ass;
    There’s not a blade on Casey’s place
    As I came down to Mass.”

    “If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan,
    And cleared his throat to speak –
    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “If rain don’t come this week.”

    A heavy silence seemed to steal
    On all at this remark;
    And each man squatted on his heel,
    And chewed a piece of bark.

    “We want an inch of rain, we do,”
    O’Neil observed at last;
    But Croke “maintained” we wanted two
    To put the danger past.

    “If we don’t get three inches, man,
    Or four to break this drought,
    We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “Before the year is out.”

    In God’s good time down came the rain;
    And all the afternoon
    On iron roof and window-pane
    It drummed a homely tune.

    And through the night it pattered still,
    And lightsome, gladsome elves
    On dripping spout and window-sill
    Kept talking to themselves.

    It pelted, pelted all day long,
    A-singing at its work,
    Till every heart took up the song
    Way out to Back-o’-Bourke.

    And every creek a banker ran,
    And dams filled overtop;
    “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “If this rain doesn’t stop.”

    And stop it did, in God’s good time;
    And spring came in to fold
    A mantle o’er the hills sublime
    Of green and pink and gold.

    And days went by on dancing feet,
    With harvest-hopes immense,
    And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
    Nid-nodding o’er the fence.

    And, oh, the smiles on every face,
    As happy lad and lass
    Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place
    Went riding down to Mass.

    While round the church in clothes genteel
    Discoursed the men of mark,
    And each man squatted on his heel,
    And chewed his piece of bark.

    “There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
    There will, without a doubt;
    We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
    “Before the year is out.”
    Around the Boree Log and Other Verses, 1921

  8. Keith Minto says:

    Timely post E.M.

    We just had a weekend of flooding at places like Wagga Wagga and Tumbarumba, places not normally subject to flooding and 60mm over three days here in Canberra.

    E.M., when you said “All that water falling as rain means that it condensed up high and dumped heat. ” Made me think …where exactly does that condensation take place?
    Boil a kettle and the clear water vapour quickly condenses into steam, giving up part of its heat. If water condenses from the surface of the ocean then that heat is released near the surface. Water that rises forms larger droplets that eventually fall as rain. But does the merging of the smaller droplets to form rain release any heat?or is it merely droplets merging due to density,temperature and surface tension?

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    The condensing happens in the clouds. It is what makes them form. Elevations from near sea level up to 40,000 feet (and maybe higher).

    Merging droplets is not a significant change.

  10. Lawrie Ayres says:

    Enjoy your blog always.

    We farmed in the Hunter Valley (East Coast about 200 miles north of Sydney) and I remember dad reading the weather chart in the Daily Telegraph. “There’s a low off Broome (Indian Ocean) so we have five days to make hay before the rain gets here”. That was in the 50s and the farmers knew about the Indian Ocean effect. Took the scientists another 50 odd years.

    I should add there was a long range weather forecaster named Inigo Jones and later his son-in-law, Lennox Walker. Jones based his predictions on solar cycles and seemed to have a better record of getting it right than the Weather Bureau who often criticised his methods.


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