Expert predicts dry spell, but Moses sees rain

RETIRED CSIRO weatherman Peter Nelson consults more than 100 years of weather records from all corners of Australia to make his respected predictions.

But this week he couldn’t help throwing this tidbit out there.

“My ginger cat Moses has been washing behind his ears for the last couple of days, that is usually a good sign of rain,” Mr Nelson said from his Wangaratta home.

“It’s the first time he’s done that for months.”

Mr Nelson’s real forecasts are based on a more scientific process, although yesterday he made a link that seemed almost as tenuous.

He said the temperature records at Giles, a weather station in Central Australia, held clues for North East Victoria.

He said Giles reached a record high of 45.7 degrees on Wednesday and said the past 16 days there was also the hottest spell on record.

When that happens, Mr Nelson said, it was usually followed by a dry spell in this part of the world.

For example, after a 16-day hot spell in January 1979, there was no rain in Wangaratta from January 22 to March 2.

Mr Nelson has also had a go at predicting weather a little further afield.

“I’m prepared to say that May and December will be much wetter than last year,” he said.

Temperatures on the Border are today set to climb back to the 40-degree mark for the first time in a week-and-a-half.

A total fire ban has been declared on both sides of the border.

The NSW Rural Fire Service has also issued a severe fire warning.

Inspector Marg Wehner said that rating had as just as much to do with the wind as the heat.

“The wind is expected to be gusting up around the 50 to 60 km/h mark again,” Insp Wehner said.

“We might be unlucky enough to get some lightning strikes too.”

Peter Nelson envisages a hot spell, but Moses predicts rain.

Peter Nelson envisages a hot spell, but Moses predicts rain.