December and total 2021 rainfall report

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By ROGER ROWSWELL

Good rains fell in December but still no big deluge as hoped for.

A group of family and friends spent Sunday 2 January 2022, at the Mosslands hiking trail hut. The large Mosslands dam had two to three metres to go before overflowing to fill the lower, more minor, Mosslands dam and then contribute to Settlers Dam inflow.

Total rainfall for December was 129.7mm over 16 rain days bringing the 2021 total annual rainfall to 633.3mm, which is 90mm below the 36-year Long Term Average (LTA) of 723mm.

The statistics for December are the lowest rainfall, 5.8mm (2015), highest rainfall, 227.1mm (1994), LTA 68.9mm, LT Med 57.5mm and average rain days 10.

2021 is the first time both November and December rainfall has been over 100mm in the same year. Thank goodness, for if it hadn’t occurred, the annual rainfall for 2021 would have been 30mm lower – not great!

The small deluge we received early in the month, on 5 December, was a stark reminder of what a 100-year flood would be like. The northern side of Grahamstown received over 40mm in as many minutes while Darling St received 28mm, but that was enough to get the Kowie River flowing again to allow Port Alfred to pump water from the weir at Waters Meeting into the Bathurst Dam and alleviate their drought situation marginally.

Follow-up rains since then have maintained river flow. They need to store as much water as possible before the normally dry months of winter arrive.

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