Editorial: Rain relief but don't get in spin

By Andrew Austin

It never rains, it pours.

After months of tinder-dry conditions, yesterday's heavy downpour must surely have eased the pressure on our farmers.

We have all enjoyed a glorious summer, but I think most of us are secretly glad that the rain has come. The dry and dusty conditions were getting to be a bit much and some people were really beginning to suffer with their allergies.

The beautiful hills and dales in our province have been brown and sad for too long now and it is good to see a bit of green in them thar hills. Cattle and sheep were also beginning to look a little thin.

The weather really turned on Saturday. It was a good opener and records showed that 16mm fell in a 24-hour period in some parts of our province. However, yesterday afternoon's storm would have been the one that tipped the balance in the farmers' favour.

Hopefully it is enough to replenish our paddocks, but also late enough not to have affected the grape harvest. Many people have said this has been one of the best summers of their lives and it is hard to disagree with that assessment.

What I am worried about is that our lovely hot summer will turn into a freezing cold winter. Last winter was my first one in the Bay and that was cold enough. You will probably find that within the next two months, we will all be moaning about how cold it is. The key thing now is how we handle the transition from heat to rain, with a particular focus on driving.

The dramatic change in seasons once again shows how dependent we are on the weather.

The big problem is that we have all forgotten how to drive in wet weather. Within a day the roads have become slippery surfaces and it is now up to us to take care and adapt to the conditions.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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