'Rain man' summoned to call in rain for Central Queensland

DRY TIMES: ‘Rain man’ Barry Boland (right) explains his painting of brolgas during the wet season to local weatherman Mike Griffin.
DRY TIMES: ‘Rain man’ Barry Boland (right) explains his painting of brolgas during the wet season to local weatherman Mike Griffin. Kathleen Calderwood

WITH more than 60% of the State drought declared and no sign of reprieve, you couldn't be blamed for resorting to more unorthodox tactics to see some rain fall on local paddocks.

However, 'Gallibaairrinari', or 'Rain man' in English, Barry Boland said it's going to take a lot more than a rain dance to have the wet weather return in Central Queensland.

The indigenous artist, who paints images of wetlands, said people should keep an eye out for three black cockatoos flying together or three heavy fogs in a row for signs rain is on the way.

Rockhampton weatherman Mike Griffin said it had been almost 50 days since there had been any effective rain in the region and there was no sign of the dry letting up.

"There's a strong high pressure system coming from the west, causing subsiding air," he said.

It is this sinking air that causes the dry conditions, and it's travelling right along the tropic of Capricorn.

He said the trough that caused rain in the south-east earlier this week has gone out to sea, with no sign of coming north.

"This is very similar to the conditions that caused the bushfires that nearly burnt down Rockhampton in 2009," Mr Griffin said.

Increasing his worries about fire is the extremely low humidity that's been experienced in the region - less than 10%.

Yesterday, the Central Highlands, Isaac and Woorabinda councils were added to the 25-strong list of shires with areas that are now officially in drought.

Producers who aren't in the declared areas but are facing drought conditions should contact the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to apply for an individually droughted property declaration. Producers in declared areas can apply for help under the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme (DRAS).

For maps and boundary descriptions of affected areas visit

To apply for DRAS or and IDP declaration call 132523 or visit


Signs there's rain coming

  • Three black cockatoos flying together
  • Three consecutive days of fog
  • Wattles flowering
  • Plovers arriving (in the Simpson Desert)
  • Brolgas arriving (in the Northern Territory)

Topics:  drought queensland

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