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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Winter rain

Woke up this morning to overcast skies, which is very unusual for this time of the year. This part of the country is summer rainfall area. Come winter, come the long dry months. This year is very different.

This is the scene that greeted us at school this morning, sodden playing fields.

By 11:30 the rain had turned into a deluge. I stood in the doorway of our computer centre to take this photo. It rained until about 1pm and then suddenly the clouds lifted. Looking out of our staff room window we could see that the whole Drakensberg was covered in a thick blanket of snow. Thought I would take some photos of the mountains on my way home but the clouds came down again. See if I can get some good ones tomorrow on my way to work.

In a dry country such as ours we don't complain too much if it rains. Un-seasonal rains bring their own set of problems though. At this time of the year farmers should be burning fire-breaks to prevent runaway veld-fires. But the grass is still too damp. End of July, through August into September is our fire season. From the end of July hot dry winds start blowing of the Berg turning the veld into tinder. Once a fire starts and fanned by the wind, nothing but good fire-breaks can stop it. Sometimes even fire-breaks don't help much.

With the good rains we've had this summer there is lots of combustible material out in the veld. What we need now is a couple of nights of heavy frost to help the drying process so farmers can burn fire-breaks.

4 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

Unseasonable weather everywhere, it seems, Phillip. We're well into June now and no hot weather here on the prairie. Very strange. Lots of rain instead. Even stranger.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Shoreman said...

Indeed a strange year for weather. Have you seen fire in Arizona? That's a big one.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Hey Phillip, you've got a great blog about Estcourt! I have visited Estcourt several times and I'm glad to hear and see some news. I put a link to your blog on my website.
It's zulufriends.de, hope you get some visitors from Germany now. God bless!

zulufriends said...

Sorry, for the Anonymous. That has been by mistake.
Harry