Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Vol 1 Part 1 And so it begins
STRIDERS ALMANAC – The Express Edition. Volume 1, part 1, 11 March 2013 page 1
My notebook number 200 covers the period from the Spring Equinox (23 September) to the end of the Calendar Year (31 December) in 2012. This is the first part of the record from 23 September to 10 October. This is a period that is 18 days long.
Part 1 THE VERY FIRST RAINS OF THE SEASON IN 2012
The Spring Equinox happened at 0020 hrs CST 23 September 2012, here at Humpty Doo. The night was distinctly warmer than the previous ones. Not a lot warmer, but a bit warmer. It was misty at dawn, and that is unusual at this time of year.
It was even warmer overnight 23-24 September, and in the morning of the 25th I noticed the very first new leaves on just one little Canarium australianum tree at Starshine.
25 September . The night 24-25 Sept, was warmer still and at 0612 hrs the air temperature in the room at Starshine was 20.5 degrees C. This was the first minimum above 20 degrees (in the room)for quite a long time. The outside air temperature (measured on top of a plastic garbage bin in the yard) at 0657 hrs was 18.5 degrees C. At 1100 hrs there was an early sea-breeze up the creek.
Warm nights were also recorded 25-26 and 26-27 September. The afternoon temperature on the 27th reached 38.5 degrees C. I experienced it as very hot. The air temperature (in the room) at 0651 hrs on the 27 th was 22.5 degrees C. Rain fell at Wadeye on this day, and on the 28th.
30 September. The very first rain for the season, a fall of 17 mm, fell between 0600 and 0700 hrs on this day. There was a thunderstorm near dawn. The official rainfall year in this part of the world begins on the first day of October. This rainfall was, in a manner of speaking, one day early. The Full Moon occurred at 1250 hrs on the 30th of September 2012. This was a Full Moon Rain.
The night 1-2 October was a warm one. The air temperature in the room was 21 degrees C at 0610 hrs on the morning of the 2nd. The sky was very hazy at that time. The same warm and hazy conditions were also recorded at the same time on the morning of the 3rd.
4 October. The night-time temperature rose yet again and at 0610 hrs the temperature in the room was 23 degrees C. The sky was cloudy, and a few drops of rain fell at 0600 hrs.
The roadsides turned green overnight 2-3 October. The invasive exotic grass Urochcloa humidicola was largely responsible for that very dramatic sudden greening.
A small and isolated cloud blew over at 1500 hrs on the 4th, and 1mm of rain fell from it. At 2038 hrs I noticed a White Tailed Spider on the verandah at Starshine. There were also two big Huntsman Spiders prowling about. These were seasonal firsts. The very first spiders for the season. Their appearance coincided with the greening of the roadsides which must have been a consequence of the 17mm of rain that fell around dawn on the day of the full Moon, 30 September 2012.
There was a distinct sea-breeze cloud front inland from Darwin on the afternoon of the 3rd of October, and this too coincided with the emergence of the spiders from hibernation.
Page 2 5 October. At 0638 hrs the air temperature in the room was 22.5 degrees C, and the sky was cloudy. At 0800 hrs a Channel Billed Cuckoo called. There were just a few drops of rain in the late afternoon. I noticed fresh leaf buds, new buds, on the Miliusa brahei tree on this day.
6 October. Once again a very warm night. Perhaps 23 degrees C. In the morning I could see that the new leaf buds had opened on Strychnos lucida and Brachychiton diversifolia. There was also a germination of Mission Grass and several legumes (that are probably weeds too).
In the late afternoon I saw the first very distinct Cumulus congestus cloud mass for the season, a thunderstorm, form near Crocodile Creek and move towards Darwin. A classic isolated late afternoon thunderstorm.
7 October. A cooler night. Only 22 degrees C. The sky was very hazy in the morning. It was quite spectacularly more humid in the morning and I took my shirt off at 1000 hrs.
On this day I observed the new leaf buds bursting open on Antidesma ghaesembilla and both new leaf and stem elongation on Smilax australasica. I noticed that the wild grape vines (Ampelocissus Spp.) had emerged from the ground. I also noticed very rapid elongation of the stems of the Fountain Vine (opilia amentacea) during the three days 5-7 October.
8 October. The night 7-8 October felt much warmer but the thermometer only recorded 23.5 degrees C at dawn. Evidently the much higher humidity made the night seem warmer than it was.
4.5 mm of rain fell between 2147 and 2218 hrs on this day. There was no thunder or wind associated with that rain.
9 October. On this day I noticed new leaf on the Red Bead Tree (Adenanthera pavonina) and on a young Green Plum Tree (Buchanania obovata). I also noticed that the re-leafing of the Canarium Trees had become widespread and general.
10 October. There were complex cloud patterns in the sky in the morning but it became clear later in the day. There was another White Tailed Spider on the verandah at might.
So let me review the main events of this time span. The 17mm of rain that fell on 30 September was followed by 1mm on 4 October and then 4.5mm on the 8th for a total of 22.5mm of rain over three rain-days.
The rain that fell on the day of the Full Moon (the 17mm on 30 September) was a germination rain. The Mission Grass seeds germinated overnight 5-6 October, or about a week after that first rain for the season. The roadsides turned green ,as old dry leaves revived, and some spiders emerged from hibernation in that same week.
The night-time air temperatures began to rise noticeably from the night of the Equinox, and the days also became hotter. The minimum temperature reached 23 degrees C. In the room on the morning of 4 October. The same day that the roadsides turned green and the spiders emerged.
There was a spectacular increase in humidity on 7 October. The re-leafing of the deciduous trees also began in earnest on that day. By 9 October the re-leafing of the Canarium Trees had become
Page 3 widespread and general. And that my friends is how the rainy season began in 2012.
C Strider, Solar Village, 2013.
(second draft 11 March 2013)