Peter Seierup with checking the rain gauge.
Peter Seierup with checking the rain gauge.

Gracemere rainfall data breaks 119-year-old record

GRACEMERE was the driest it has been for 119 years in 2019, with just 203.1mm falling from the skies.

Last year’s figure was 138.1mm less than 1900, which was previously the driest year on record.

Gracemere Bureau of Meteorology volunteer rain gauge collector Peter Seierup said conditions were more consistently drier than ever before.

“We’ve only ever had one dry year and then it’s followed by a good year,” Mr Seierup said.

But with 2018 claiming the fourth driest year on record, the past two consecutive years were bucking the trend.

Gracemere’s rainfall for 2018 was 395.8mm, the town’s third lowest rainfall was 352.1mm in 1923 and the second lowest was 341.6mm in 1900.

While Mr Seierup’s hobby is golf, the retiree spends a considerable amount of time working out weather trends. He has been collecting rainfalls for his personal records since 1978 and he studies the data.

Despite Gracemere experiencing the longest drought on record, he said more rain had fallen in the past two decades than any other 20 year period since 1890.

“We’ve averaged 20m more per year (in the past 20 year period) than the previous 108 years but it’s because it’s been up and down with really wet years and really dry years,” he said.

Mr Seierup has been collecting data for BOM for the past seven years and while he hoped it would rain soon he couldn’t predict when it would.

“All I know is the bible said ‘as seasons grow hot and cold, seed time and harvest will never cease’,” he said.