Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beautiful let down

Lots of cloud, some lightning. No rain.

Before and after

Field between us and the airport (the towers are the airport's non-directional beacon or NDB, windfarm in the background) a few day ago when the rain was starting, and then yesterday:

Dust devil near the road to the met office last week. The field after being seeded and 2 days of rain:

It's amazing how quickly things bounce back

This morning

Orographic fog over the Moresby Ranges this morning.

Developing cumulus clouds-->


Can you spot the balloon?

more rainbows

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rain and a surprise visit

The rain arrived Thursday morning which made for a crazy day at work. Everyone was phoning to find out when it would start, then when it was going to stop, and when it did, if there was more on the way.

Between issuing aviation weather reports every few minutes for change in visibility, low cloud and wind gusts, and phone calls, I didn't have time to breathe for the first few hours.

Then I got a phone call from "Jeremy at the Prime Minister's Office" asking for an update on the forecast and whether it was as bad as it seemed. Indeed it was - winds sitting on 30kts gusting to 40kts, 2000m visibility and rain. He said he might have to cancel the PM's visit to Geraldton because it involved being outside.
WHAT?? The PM was coming to town?? And I had possibly cancelled the visit?! Whoops!

Fortunately he decided to come anyway. Here is his plane parked at the terminal about 700m from my office. I was too busy issuing visibility SPECIs to see him land.
He was here to attend a meeting about the new port that the Fed Gov has pledged money towards. He was meant to go out to the site which is north of Gero, but it was too wild. He visited the HMAS Sydney Memorial which was declared a nationally significant monument or something. Speaking to someone who works for a car rental company, apparantly a few days before the unannounced visit, someone phoned all the car hire places to try to hire some Holden Statesmen cars. It's unlikely that one exists north of Perth. So they got SUVs instead.

Of course Geraldton can't not be sunny, even when it's raining. So the sun kindly showed it's face.

^Waves from the wind in our driveway puddle
After 1.5 hours, Rudd was off again.

By the time I left work, over 20mm had fallen (in the rain gauge that is - the rain was horizontal a lot of the time so I reckon a lot missed). My friends and I went to the pub to celebrate.

Anticipating rain

Last week rain was finally on the forecast. With a front heading toward us from the south west, our dry spell was set to end. Kalbarri had had over 170 days without rain - a record. Here in Gero we were having the driest start to a year. Farmers had been putting their seed down the week before, hoping rain was on its way.

The clouds started building on Wednesday with the first falls arriving Thursday morning around 6am with wild winds and large ocean swells.

I went to Point Moore on the Wednesday afternoon to see the clouds build and hoping to feel a few drops of rain.

The air was heavy with nervous anticipation and excitment - the feeling that something different was on its way to end the sameness of the beautiful fine weather.

You know you're in WA when you see cars parked on a beautiful beach!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009