Farmers west of New South Wales have breathed a sigh of relief after a severe hail storm covered their winter crops on the afternoon of Sunday 19th but passed without causing any significant damage.
The heavy storm blanketing west of Dubbo near Albert, Peak Hill and Tullamore impacted several properties.
“It was just unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Tullamore resident Belinda Mulcahy said.
“When you felt it was crumbly and very soft.
“Where it hit us it was a gravel hill, so there weren’t any crops in amongst the worst of it.”
According to Terry Fitzgerald a local farmer, the hail left paddocks looking “white as snow.” Farms at a property dubbed Weona and situated about 7 kilometres west of Tullamore were caught right in the path of the dangerous storm.
“When it first started hailing we were very nervous, but it fell softly for about 45 minutes straight,” Mr Fitzgerald stated.
“It was as white as snow and covered the paddocks in a layer about 10 centimetres thick in parts.”
Valuable Crops Protected
In the past three years, Tullamore has received very little rainfall, but recent showers have given Mr Fitzgerald a reason for cautious optimism that the end of the prolonged drought could just be around the corner.
He was grateful that his oats and wheat crops—the best he has had since 2016, escaped hail damage by a whisker.
“Our crops are looking really good after being so dry for so long,” he said.
“We’ve had such nice rain recently so we are feeling really lucky indeed as the hail could have flattened everything.”
From Dust Storms To Hail Storms
Besides the hail, according to the Bureau of Meteorology the region received showers of about 19 millimetres over the weekend.
One of the residents Lynne Edwards said she was amazed at the sudden turnaround of the season.
“Everything was dry and barren, our dams were empty. Now they’re absolutely chock-a-block full,” Ms Edwards noted.
The weekend’s extreme weather was a sure call for celebration.
“It was the first time our grandchildren had come out since December because of coronavirus,” she said.
“When they were here last year it was dry, desolate and barren. They’re all just amazed at the change of how wonderful it looks; it’s just amazing how different it is.”