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Wet and wonderful

Dorothy HendersonThe West Australian
Jenny Scott is delighted with the rainfall her property received.
Camera IconJenny Scott is delighted with the rainfall her property received. Credit: Dorothy Henderson

At Erinair, about 70km west of Esperance, farmers Robin and Jenny Scott have more than a passing interest in the amount of rain they receive on the farm.

As with all farmers, their livelihood depends on what lands on the 4679ha property they farm with their son Tim and his wife Sonia.

In addition, Erinair is an official Bureau of Meteorology weather station, a place where rainfall has been recorded faithfully for many years.

Mrs Scott has been recording rain since the mid-1990s, when she took over a task carried out by other family members before her.

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Whenever it rains, the rainfall is recorded at 9am and the amount is submitted online to the BoM, adding to the picture of Australia’s daily rainfall distribution.

Regardless of the weather, and often with her beanie and raincoat on, Mrs Scott makes the short trek to the official gauge to check the total.

“Up until 9am on Monday, we had received 369.8mm of rain, more than the 346mm we had received to the end of June last year,” she said.

Rainfall recorded during the past few days consolidated the 211mm received in February, with 21.2mm recorded in January, a tad over 20mm in March, 10.6mm in April, 29.4mm in May and 37.6mm in June.

“April was dry, and the weather was so mild that up until about a fortnight ago we were wearing T-shirts during the day,” Mrs Scott said.

Despite the relatively dry June experienced in the region, Esperance is one area of the State where the crops are enjoying high-moisture levels and optimism prevails.

However, the sympathy felt for those who are enduring less than perfect seasonal conditions takes the gloss of the happy situation for those enjoying rain.

“We tend to feel guilty because we are having a good season; we have experienced hard times and we wish we could send some of the rain elsewhere, to those who need it,” Mrs Scott said.

And it is possible to have too much of a good thing, with the Scotts among those in the area who had to repair damage done by the flooding rains of February.

“Too much rain involves a lot of extra work, fixing roads and erosion. We spent about three or four weeks cleaning up after the February rains, repairing damage in paddocks. We feel for those who lost so much more in other areas,” she said.

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