The rain missed

The promised rain turned out to be a soft shower but at least we got something, 18 mm over a few days at my place.1weekrainto15January

It’s not often that the eastern part of Kangaroo Island gets more rain than the west but I’ll take it for now. My rainwater tank, which is my only house water supply, has had a top-up. My soils didn’t run down the hill or be gullied by heavy falls. And the vegie garden has had a freshen up from the natural stuff.

The produce part of my garden is normally watered by ‘town water’, which comes from a desalination plant. I don’t think the water is as ‘good’ as rainwater, though I’m not able to define that, and I am conscious of its large power use.

But back to the forecast rain. It’s easy to criticise the weather forecasters when they get their predictions ‘wrong’. In this case it was not so much wrong; it was not quite right. I’d rather be grateful that we didn’t have the counter-productive downpour, and at least had some rain, than moan about the Bureau of Meteorology.

Forecasting has to incorporate so many factors and is better now than it has ever been, with science constantly improving its accuracy. A citizen science project, ‘the world’s largest climate prediction modelling experiment for the 21st century’ aims to extend and refine climate prediction. You can contribute, along with 10,000 others, by running models on your home computer, though I would recommend that laptop users not try it unless you want to listen to your fan running continuously.

Since I installed a rain gauge at home, I have become obsessed with checking, recording and comparing ‘my’ rain with others. I suppose that it’s more a country thing and it certainly is a conversation starter with farmers (beware: never tell a farmer that you, a townie, had more rain than they did).

If weather is not your idea of fun, try the ABC Science Show‘s  list of citizen science projects from around the world that might be of interest.


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