Weather: Times Past

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© irene waters 2017

In Queensland and Northern NSW Tropical Cyclone (now ex) Debbie has been wreaking havoc. Starting as a slow moving Category 4 its winds exceeded 200 km/hr and it dumped masses of rain as it crossed from sea to land. Thousands of people at this point are without power and 250 homes totally destroyed with many more suffering wind damage. Slowly the storm, although downgraded, moved down the coast continuing its deluge (one place received 800mm rain in a matter of hours) leading to flooding and still with damaging winds. We copped it Thursday but came out of it well. The streets are full of broken off tree limbs, leaves and rubbish and we lost power for 24 hours. We didn’t get the flooding that others are still experiencing. New Zealand is bracing for Debbie reaching them in a week or so.

This was not the first cylone that we have experienced. In Vanuatu on the island of Tanna we had several smaller cyclones and one bigger that was also slow moving. You don’t think of cyclones as slow moving but what this means is that they do not leave the area quickly but blow at a rapid rate around the eye. This means that the area they are sitting over suffers for a long period, then just when you think it is gone and all is calm the eye passes by and on the other side of that eerie calm the destructive winds and rain start raging again. I was staggered by the horizontal rain that managed to make its way through the door. Louvres that are the best form of window in a cyclone also allowed the rain to penetrate inside. The house that we built survived but the locally built hut did not.

A storm passed through where I lived in Sydney a day before Operation Dessert Storm was commenced in the Middle East. We lost power for a week and my main memories beside the clean up operations were sitting in the car to hear the news.


© irene waters 2015


© irene waters 2015


© irene waters 2015


© irene waters 2015

All this has made me wonder when did I first notice the weather? As a Baby Boomer in Rural Australia I remember droughts purely because the river that ran at the bottom of the garden in places dried to puddles. It didn’t impact me greatly although we were warned of electric eels and the dangers of peeing on them. As an adult I think this was probably my Father’s form of joking. Droughts always seemed to be broken by flooding rains (probably the result of cyclones further north although I have no memory of wind as a child). I can remember the river would come up and the old house would have needed to be evacuated. Our new house built on higher ground never did. I can remember wishing that the river would rise just a little more so we would have to leave. Again I had no thought of the impact that flooding caused adults and the damage water does to houses. I saw it as exciting. As for other weather it had little impact on me as a child and even as a young adult. Whether the weather be wet or fine didn’t matter to me until we became farmers. Weather then became all important, a matter of life and death. No longer farmers I still hold the interest I gained from that time and with severe weather events increasing I am sure we will all be impacted more frequently in the future.

Baby Boomer New York 

Weather: Times Past

Gen X (Baby Buster)  Rural USA

Raw Weather

When did the weather become important to you (if it did)?

Have there been any weather events that are unforgettable to you?

I am looking forward to hearing your weather tales either in the comments or in a separate post. For guidelines  but all you have to do is advise of your location at the time of the experience (country city or rural) and what generation you belong to.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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26 Responses to Weather: Times Past

  1. Pingback: Weather: Times Past – Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    Weather – this is such a big issue, isn’t it – less familiar patterns, more extreme events.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share 1st April 2017 | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  4. mvschulze says:

    Living in New Jersey, about 40 km NW of Times Square, I became interested in meteorology at about 12 yrs of age, and have continued to this day, with a small weather station on the roof measuring and recordiong wind speed, temeperature, humidity, pressure and ranfall,- living part time at the Jersey shore.
    Worst encounter: Superstorm Sandy, some 5 years ago, with the shore house surrounded by water, threattening winds, and neighborhood destruction never before seen. It was almost a direct hit. M 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • You were lucky it wasn’t. I’d love to have all your gear. Have you seen any new trends in that time of recording the weather. I imagine you are now good at predicting what is likely. Deborah had some pictures of the aftermath of Sandy and described how it was for her in New York. It sounds like a terrifying wind. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Annecdotist says:

    Glad you survived Debbie, Irene, but it looks as if your garden fence didn’t. I’ve never experienced a cyclone and found it interesting to read about what happens when the eye of the storm passes and there’s only a short-lived moment of relief.
    This topic should certainly be one for the Brits as we are renowned for talking about the weather. What we lack in extremes (although that’s changing the global warming) we make up for in variability. But when did I first notice the weather is an interesting question. I hope to come back before the end of the month with my answer.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Raw Weather « Carrot Ranch Communications

  7. Charli Mills says:

    I had heard of Australia’s recent cyclone and flooding. A cyclone is a weather phenomenon I’ve not experienced. However, I have heard a similar myth regarding the warning not to pee on an electric fence. Every young cowboy is warned. I asked the Hub if it was a myth and he sputtered it certainly was not. That made me laugh! I had to ask him if he did and he admitted his cousin did and got electrically shocked. Yikes! Why kids would pee on such things…perhaps a future prompt? Maybe not! I had a scheduling faux pas, which freed up my schedule to play along! I added some flash fiction to my glimpse of a California flood when I was very young:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have lived in cold places but I do not remember being cold, though when I was a young child in southeast Alaska cold was the stuff of legend, as in Robert Service’s ballad of Sam McGee, and other local stories of severe frostbite or worse.
    I remember one morning my father remarked that it was very cold so we should not run on our way to school, it would burn our lungs. I was not familiar with that expression and was at a literal age. I imagined the flaming horrors of spontaneous combustion in my lungs. My brothers impatiently prodded me along that morning, as I walked at an incredibly slow pace that could in no way be construed as running.
    On another day that was cold enough for adult comment, my first grade teacher warned us not to touch metal, because it was cold. Specifically, she advised against licking metal. If she continued to explain why and what would happen, I don’t recall. My mind was racing ahead, visualizing where the nearest metal was. As soon as we got outside and down the steps, I went immediately to the side of the building where some pipes were and gave a lick. And I was stuck. And I was not supposed to have licked metal. So, rather than try to call for help, I extricated myself, but not without pain and injury.
    I don’t remember feeling cold, but was learning of cold’s power.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for joining in. I have been to Greenland and assume the temperatures are similar to Alaska and I know from that experience just what cold is. Perhaps you don’t remember being cold because as a child temperature means less and I bet your parents had you suitably attired for the outside conditions. I had to laugh at your two memoirs. I can see you as a child walking slowly in fear of combusting spontaneously. I am guessing you are also a child that liked to find out for yourself. That must have been so painful pulling your tongue from the metal pipe. The thought sends a shiver up my spine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for having me, that was fun. I was suitably attired (Sears & Roebuck catalogue provided everything, including parkas) and it amazes me to see kids not prepared for the elements today. And, fyi, gen x by the rubric, but barely so. The incidents above were @ 1970, ’71.
        What’s next?

        Liked by 1 person

      • So glad you plan on coming back for more. I usually post the next prompt between the 1st and 3rd of the month. I have to admit I haven’t a clue at the moment what it will be. Usually something happens in everyday life which gives me the prompt for the month. It hasn’t happened yet but I know it will.
        Catalogue buying seems to be quite common from the fifties (possibly earlier) in the States. I don’t think it became common practice here until much later.


    • Charli Mills says:

      What fantastic memories of cold in a place like Alaska! I can relate to your imagination and inquisitiveness as a child upon hearing colorful expressions or warnings without explanation of what would happen. If be curious, too! But another classmate tested out the metal theory and was also stuck. It reminds me of the scene in A Christmas Story. I’m so glad you responded to Irene’s prompt!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Catalogues were pretty exciting, especially the Christmas catalogues. Sears was probably the biggest but Montgomery Ward was strong and even JC Penny. These were essential for people in remote and rural areas. (And now that I think of it, was a means for children to interact with print, early literacy, if you will.)
    Maybe this has to do with your next prompt… remembered purchases or presents, given or received. What special thing did we all save up for, what whetted our consumer appetites in that catalogue?

    Liked by 1 person

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