Record July rain at Thargomindah

South west graziers rejoice at follow-up rainfall

Weather
Ivan King was loving the sight of the flooded Pitherty Road on his property, Mooning, south of Eulo, on Friday.

Ivan King was loving the sight of the flooded Pitherty Road on his property, Mooning, south of Eulo, on Friday.

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Often thought of as one of the drier parts of Queensland, Thargomindah notched up an exciting rainfall record last week when 52.6mm was measured at the town's airport.

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Often thought of as one of the drier parts of Queensland, Thargomindah notched up an exciting rainfall record last week when 52.6mm was measured at the town's airport.

A line of showers and storms on Friday brought the far south western town its highest July rainfall ever recorded, an amount that's five times its average July total.

According to BoM meteorologist Rosa Hoff, the airport recording station has only been in existence for the past 20 years but even when the rain was measured at the town's post office, not much more than 40mm has been recorded in one day in July in the past.

Publican Shirley Girdler at the Bulloo River Hotel Motel has lived in the town all her life and remembers winter floods when she was growing up.

"That hasn't happened for many years," she said. "People were pretty happy to see it rain on Friday but it was a bit cold to go out and play in it."

Thargomindah's residents watched excitedly as their rainfall total mounted up through Friday.

Thargomindah's residents watched excitedly as their rainfall total mounted up through Friday.

Further east at Eulo, Geoff Hanson told the Who Got the Rain Facebook page he'd recorded 50mm at Yowah, "the best rain in ages".

Sheryl Keech measured 55mm at Werai Park south of Eulo, describing it as steady rain, while nearby Carmel Meurant announced the 39mm at Wandilla Station as "just what the doctor ordered".

"We saw the change was coming in and were hoping for 10mm," she said. "This has really set us up for spring."

The property had 140mm in March, followed by another 35mm spread over the weeks since then, plus Friday's rain.

As a result the mulga Mitchell grass, the mulga oats and neverfail grass that's grown has gone to seed.

"There were a couple of good floods over the Paroo country this year," Ms Meurant said.

"After nine years of drought, some of the country came away well and other parts havn't responded as much.

"But it's amazing how it regenerates."

Also south of Eulo at Pitherty, Jayne Campbell had 44.5mm, starting at around 8am on Friday and falling steadily all day, which she described as beautiful follow-up rain to 37.5mm in April and 9mm in June.

Another view of Friday's rain on Mooning. Picture - Ivan King.

Another view of Friday's rain on Mooning. Picture - Ivan King.

After pushing mulga for cattle last year and then selling them, leaving them with a dorper flock and rangeland goats, Ms Campbell said they had good dry feed that would benefit from the latest moisture, along with plenty of wildflowers.

Eulo itself had 21mm, and rain was lighter around Cunnamulla as well - 31mm at Amenda, south of the town, according to Christie Clinch; 20mm at Nardoo, reported by Dustin Tuite; and 18mm at Hillview, posted by Selina Halls, which delayed the start of shearing.

According to the BoM's Rosa Hoff, totals in the storms that were part of a trough line that swept through were generally between 5 and 15mm but some had up to 20-25mm.

"The places with 50mm were in exactly the right place," she said.

Southerly winds and cold air have replaced the rain front and the south west now stands a significant chance of frost for the rest of the week.

The story Record July rain at Thargomindah first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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