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OPINION: Just wishing and hoping and thinking and praying

Early storms in the Northern Territory signal it’s rapidly approaching the time of the year when, as the weather warms up (and up and up) we start thinking about the season ahead and what it will bring for us at Neds Creek.

There is a misconception the location we are in — which is either East Gascoyne or Interior depending on which map you look at — has a wet season.

The 'house creek' at Neds Creek station after good rains in February.
Camera IconThe ‘house creek’ at Neds Creek station after good rains in February. Credit: Raelene Hall/Supplied
Dogs frolic in the 'house creek' at Neds Creek station after good rains in February.
Camera IconDogs frolic in the ‘house creek’ at Neds Creek station after good rains in February. Credit: Raelene Hall/Supplied

A wet season is the monsoonal weather experienced in areas such as the Kimberley and the top end of the NT.

Their rainfall average is about three times or more than our 200ml-230ml.

It’s unusual for us to start getting rain until places much further north are experiencing storms. We wait in anticipation for storms to start in places such as Darwin, then down into the Kimberley region of WA.

Their storms and rainfall are no guarantee we will get some moisture but it’s usually a sign we can start hoping for it.

Our pet hate is hearing weather broadcasters celebrating a cyclone heading back out to the ocean or dissipating before it crosses the coast.

While we don’t wish destruction or harm to those in the path of a cyclone, they are one of our best chances of getting some decent summer rain.

Our particular favourite is a cyclone that crosses the coast at a point favourable to it heading in our direction as a rain-bearing depression.

As we all know, cyclones are fickle beasts, so hopes are raised and dashed constantly throughout the summer months.

This year saw cyclones dump so much rain on some stations, they were completely flooded and lost livestock, while others didn’t get enough to dampen the rain gauge.

Apart from cyclones, our other big hope for rain in summer is thunderstorms. These, too, can be unpredictable, some showing huge promise only to fizzle out to nothing and others dumping excellent falls of rain that may be widespread or cover just a tiny fraction of the land.

It’s not unusual to sit on the homestead veranda and watch rain fall just a short distance away, but not on us.

There is absolutely nothing we can do to make the weather gods deliver the lifesaving liquid we need to grow feed for our stock and sometimes the months and years of waiting can be soul destroying.

But when the heavens open, not only is the land renewed, so are our hearts.

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