The rain in January 2016 augured well for autumn at Wirrabilla.

Despite the presence of an El Nino weather pattern, we had been feeling confident about the season ahead of us. What a difference a couple of months can make – we are now feeding stock and selling weaners early.

We are not the only ones to be struck by the unreliability of the current long range weather forecasts. Oxley in The Land under the heading Farmer claims ‘best El Nino yet’ recently noted:

‘The reliability of weather predictions was a popular topic …..[one farmer] said of the wonderful January rain through the district, which recharged his soil profiles – “whatever the predictions last year, this is the best El Nino I have ever experienced”. Oxley is now understandably nervous of the La Nina prediction.’

The Land Newspaper, March 6, 2016.

It seems Oxley had good reason to be nervous. Just as the Bureau of Meteorology said the El Nino was dissipating and regions could expect above average rainfall, the rain has all but dried up.