Upper Hunter rainfall fortunes

A TALE of two towns has emerged in the Upper Hunter after lashings of rain reached the region’s farmland yesterday.

While Singleton beef farmer Sonia Alexander watched the rain disappear into the cracked earth at her feet, Scone’s Suzanne Henderson saw the storms only from afar.

‘‘We haven’t had any decent rain probably since June,’’ Mrs Henderson said.

‘‘It is a drought. We are pretty desperate.’’

The Hunter’s big wet: your pics

Mrs Henderson, whose family has operated Middlebrook Station since 1926, said she was frustrated at the lack of political will to support people on the land.

‘‘We’re not whingeing farmers, we love what we do, but just at the moment there doesn’t seem to be state or federal government making any noise,’’ she said.

At Singleton, Mrs Alexander said the commercial beef property she runs with husband Michael gained about 37mm of rain on Sunday and yesterday.

The rain provided a reprieve to the parched times Mrs Alexander said had prompted her family to thin their herd to 90 cattle.

‘‘We need a lot more but it’s a start,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s nice but you can’t see where it’s gone – it’s soaked straight in.’’

Weatherwatch meteorologist Anthony Cornelius said cold fronts in southern Australia had factored into the region’s dry spring.

‘‘When you get those cold fronts coming through you get a lot of westerly winds in the northern areas,’’ Mr Cornelius said.

‘‘Obviously westerly winds don’t carry much moisture.’’

Mr Cornelius predicted 10mm to 15mm could fall between Maitland and Scone over the next three days but inland areas to the north and south of the Hunter would probably receive more.


Merewether 77mm

Adamstown 74mm

Blacksmiths 71mm

Newcastle Uni 63mm

Lake Macquarie 48mm

Nelson Bay 41mm

Nobbys Head 29mm

Gresford 18mm

Maitland 17mm

Cessnock 17mm

Dungog 17mm

Jerrys Plains 15mm

Williamtown 13mm

Singleton 4mm

Denman 3.6mm

Rouchel Brook 0.2mm

Scone 0mm

SMILING: Beef farmer Sonia Alexander watches the rain soak into the land with her dog, Ellie, on her property at Glendonbrook, near Singleton. Picture: Simone De Peak

Rainfall for 24 hours to 2pm yesterday

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