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Rain lifts farmers' hopes

GLAD WE BROUGHT THE BROLLY! Maclean sisters Tamia Griffen, 10, and Alana Griffen, 9, were at Maclean Showground watching the last Magpie rugby league match of the season on Saturday.
GLAD WE BROUGHT THE BROLLY! Maclean sisters Tamia Griffen, 10, and Alana Griffen, 9, were at Maclean Showground watching the last Magpie rugby league match of the season on Saturday.

IF YOU listen very carefully you can almost hear the grass growing.

Widespread rainfall across the Clarence Valley delivered welcome relief over the weekend as a low pressure system dumped more than 100mm in some parts of the Northern Rivers.

Ballina picked up 118mm to 9am on Sunday, the highest August fall since 2006.

Closer to home, Wooli Caravan Park recorded 56mm, Grafton Airport 37mm and Yamba 23mm.

But by 9am Sunday the rain had cleared.

Upper Clarence cattle grazier Fred Morgan was more than pleased to check his gauge on Sunday morning, recording 55mm, the best single fall of rain since March.

"It's a nice break and to be getting better than 50mm in August is quite unusual," Mr Morgan said.

"It makes us optimistic for spring and will have a positive impact."

After a very lean summer and a long dry spell that had carried over since mid-2013, Mr Morgan said the unseasonal downpour had given underground springs a kick along too.

He said this would give grass a chance to recover but more follow-up rain was needed.

"In my experience if we get a decent break - maybe some storms later this month - then we'll have a chance to evaluate the future better, but there's nothing major coming up on the horizon and we're still well under on average rainfall for the year, and well over half the year is already gone," he said.

"The other thing is we are likely to see the lifting of fire restrictions and permits allowing us the opportunity to safeguard properties before it gets too hot."

The Bureau of Meteorology has highlighted the potential of widespread rain to return to southern and eastern Australia from about August 31 to September 4.

Rain events originating in the tropics and moving south are possible about August 22 to August 26.

Rainfall*

 Yamba 23mm

 Grafton Airport 37mm

 South Grafton 47mm

 Grafton Research Station 42mm

 Minnie Water 53mm

 Wooli Caravan Park 56mm

 Lilydale 48mm

* to 9am Sunday

Topics:  drought, farming, rain, weather



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