East gains most from recent weather system

The east of the state has recieved welcome rainfall


A trough, and unstable atmosphere, brings heavy rain to east Gippsland.

MISSED OUT: Duncan Barber, Coliban Park, Elphinstone, missed out on the rain, but wasn't complaining.

MISSED OUT: Duncan Barber, Coliban Park, Elphinstone, missed out on the rain, but wasn't complaining.

Eastern Victoria has fared best out of the latest weather system, with falls of more than 100 millimetres of rain recorded around Bairnsdale.

But useful falls were also recorded through central Victoria, with 65mm at Kaarimba, since Thursday.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Russell said by the time the system had passed through, several sites had recorded their highest January rainfall.

He said a moist, unstable atmosphere had combined with a deepening trought, to force the rain into Gippsland.

"Bairnsdale was quite significant, it received 75mm - the previous highest total was 52.6mm, on January 6, 1991," Mr Russell said.

Stratford received its highest daily rainfall record for any month, in 52 years of measurements.

The town received 109mm, while Mt Moornapa, north-west of Bairnsdale, measured 139mm.

Rainfall of 65mm recorded at Omeo and 104mm at Briagolong, while Bullumwaal received 79mm.

"About this time yesterday, throughout west Gippsland, there was a convergent line of quite heavy showers, " Mr Russell said.

"About half of the rainfall fell in three hours, then there were further showers and storms, that kept feeding that."

Around Ballarat, there were unofficial recordings of up to 200mm.

"They are most likely credible," Mr Russell said

"A stationary storm sat there for about four hours, and that really did highlight the hit and miss nature of the system."

The Mallee received less than two mm of rain.

Isolated showers remained around the north-east, resulting in smaller totals.

"It gets a bit warmer now, with strong winds ahead of a cold front,"he said

"Significant rain will follow that, extending eastwards," Mr Russell said.

Primary producers who missed out were not complaining, while others welcomed the falls.

Beef producer Ronnie Phillips said the area received nine and a half mm of rain, "which was a bit disappointing, when you think some people got two inches," he said.

He said his properties at Romsey and Taradale were "touched by the edge of the storms.

"We have a bit of phalaris ryegrass and it has freshened it up a bit," he said.

"If we can get another eight to 10mm, it will just be fantastic."

He said he would switch his stock around, moving his heifers to his Taradale property and cows to Romsey.

Fine wool producer Duncan Barber, Coliban Park, Elphinstone, said the property hadn't received any rain.

"We are actually in a fairly normal season," Mr Barber said.

"The only good it would have done for us was fill the water tanks, it would have washed away the dry feed.

"I am probably one of the very few, who don't want rain."

He said there had been enough rain, previously, to get the grass growing, but little run off.

"Things will be a bit tight, for water," he said.

Tim Moran, Terang, was another producer who missed out on the rain.

'We are still green in places and our hay output was better than the previous year, it's been a good season," Mr Moran said.

He, and wife Pam, have an F1 herd, with a small Limousin stud, to produce milk vealers.

"We've had our turn, and it will come around again."

Kaarimba dairy farmer Mark Bryant said his property had received 65mm, since Thursday.

"We are not growing much, at the moment, because of water scarcity," he said.

"But it's going to put some nice moisture in the ground for when we start up in March.

'The way we farm, these days, we should still be able to retain some of the moisture."

David Mitchell, who is south of Bairnsdale, said the rain had been "absolutely fantastic."

The property, just south of the Bairnsdale airport, had received 47mm, as follow up rain.

He runs Dohnes, for prime lamb production.

"It's the first time we've seen water in the dams for three years," Mr Mitchell said.

The area was in its fourth year of extremely dry weather.

"Our family has been here for more than 100 years, and its the driest I have ever seen it.

"But the stock have come through it pretty well, we had good lambing rates."

Mr Mitchell said the pastures would benefit from the latest rain.

"The Kikuyu has it's nose up, and this will top it off - it's an amazing grass, how it survives."

Mr Mtichell said the rain would lift the mood of local producers, and give them hope.


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