Water droplets hit a puddle on the ground at the Ballina Skate Park in the wet conditions on Saturday, Ballina, Saturday, October 09, 2010.
Water droplets hit a puddle on the ground at the Ballina Skate Park in the wet conditions on Saturday, Ballina, Saturday, October 09, 2010. JERAD WILLIAMS

Rain causes weekend of woe

NO, it isn't just you – the past weekend added to what has been a miserable start to October in terms of weather.

Incessant rain caused grief for organisers of various events throughout the Northern Rivers on Saturday and Sunday, as plans were either put on hold or restricted.

The run of bad weather means residents can be forgiven for wanting answers to two reasonable questions: Why is this happening? And when is this going to stop?

The answer to the first one is that a La Niña weather event is producing the rain.

The combination of a slow-moving high pressure system, which we can blame for the onshore winds, with warmer than normal ocean temperatures, which we can hold responsible for the moisture, is leading to higher than normal rainfall.

Lismore received 42mm of rain in the 30 hours to 3pm yesterday morning, which wasduly added to the October running total of 135mm. The monthly average is just 73mm.

However, the pity for Lismore residents should arguably be reserved for the water-logged souls residing on the coast.

While Byron Bay had 28mm of rain in the 30 hours to 3pm yesterday, it has already amassed 330mm of rain this month, comfortably more than four times its monthly average.

And Ballina has easily chalked up its wettest October for six years, with 222mm falling so far after it received a further 30mm to 3pm yesterday.

As for when the rain is going to stop, the answer to that is not soon enough.

Weather Channel presenter Hannah McEwan said there were predictions for more heavy rain today, before an easing overnight and further easing tomorrow. The sun will hopefully make a welcome appearance on Wednesday and Thursday, as winds turn north and temperatures increase.

However, any joy will be short-lived, with Ms McEwan forecasting more heavy rain for the Northern Rivers later in the week.

Incredibly, the grief caused by the weekend rain did notextend to serious property damage.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Richmond /Tweed SES had yet to take a call from residents reporting leaking roofs or trees down.

However, it still issued a flood watch for the Tweed, Brunswick, Richmond and Wilsons rivers catchment areas.



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