Wettest July Ever (Part Two) – Record Breaking Rainfall for Canterbury

“On a Mish” #342 Wettest July Ever – Part Two. Lake Mosley. Tai Tapu. Otautahi / Christchurch. July 2022. Rain gives us life, and rain can also destroy. It is hard to downplay climate change when you have significant weather events happening on a weekly basis. Heavy rain warnings used to be something reserved for our remote areas, and big events in occupied places were rare events. Oh how the times have changed!

2021 produced storms that flooded many parts of the plains, and the mighty braided rivers of Rakaia and Rangitata were flowing fast, brown and bank to bank. During July 2022 the weather was going to up the ante as if it was a challenge, and the series of storms that hit Christchurch definitely won. At this stage (mid morning of round three) my sister and brother-in-law’s house, which sits lower than my parents house (on the same property), wasn’t threatened by the lake starting to form in the driveway. Paul (bro in law) and I went for a walk around the area to assess the flooding and to also see if we could somehow divert the water away from the house. With all of the rivers overflowing the drains couldn’t cope with the water and there was really nothing we could do but hope it didn’t keep raining. We played around temporarily (hopefully!) on Lake Mosley in a kayak and at this stage it looked like the garage and house would be ok. But. Very heavy rain falling during the evening meant that just before midnight the water of the great lake had made its way up the driveway, and then snuck into the garage.

There should not be any water in this picture!

Early-ish the next morning a quick assessment of merely looking out the window showed a big clean up was going to be needed once the water finally subsided. The storm had produced more than 70mm of rain in less than 24 hours, about the same amount of rain as a typical Fiordland storm, however this storm was soaking an area that had already seen more than two times its normal monthly rainfall in just over two weeks, and was going to record its highest July rainfall ever! This meant we had had just under five times the normal amount of rain normally seen at this time of the year, a staggering grand total of 310mm of liquid falling from the sky during July. Oh well, at least I got to see some Fiordland rain (in Christchurch!) while I sort out my medical situation. When it is all said and done, I think it is best for the rain to stay in Fiordland!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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