Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by South Australian-based journalist Elizabeth Anderson.
There is an old cliché about how boring it is to talk about the weather.
This concept obviously comes from a place that does not endure Australia's weather extremes. Australia, a nation where rain can be front-page news and makes up a pretty dominant topic in all manner of conversations.
I've become somewhat obsessed with weather myself. I have the Bureau of Meteorology app on my phone and first thing in the morning, before my feet hit the floor, it has become a routine to swap my location - Cowell, Marree, Yunta, Robertstown - and check on how much rain has fallen in different areas before 9am.
And I live in a capital city that isn't so much affected by the drought and not somewhere living with extreme water restrictions.
But when someone who is somewhat tangentially affected by the drought can get so caught up in looking at the radar, imagine what it's like for those living in these drought-affected areas.
Speaking to some people in Far North of South Australia, popular opinion is divided.
In one camp there are those people who look at every single long and short-range forecast, just looking for some hope.
In the opposite corner you will find the people who refuse to look because they don't want to see the bad news or open themselves to the possibility of still more disappointment.
That disappointment is hard to hold at bay when the alleged "90 per cent chance of 10 millimetres to 20mm next Saturday" somehow turns to a 30 per cent chance of 1-5mm as Saturday gets closer, but then in reality it turns out to be just more dust storms.
So far this year, there are areas that have already had more rain than had the entire 2019.
As one pastoralist said, the benefit in this rain is not just what it brings to the country, but to the mental health of people who live there.
Of course, the rain isn't all good news. It certainly doesn't mean the drought is over, there needs to be follow-up. Not everywhere has had the good rains. In some areas, they are dealing with flooding. And in the Murray-Darling Basin the rain, combined with the fires and ash, has caused about more fish kills.
When it comes to watching your topsoil being washed away by rain as opposed to being blown away in a dust storm, only one of these scenarios has the potential to make things grow again.
I'm told, in some of those areas where the rain has fallen, there is already a tinge of green, after months of dust and burrs.
Let there be more green.
Journalist, Stock Journal