THE CLIMATE OF AUSTRALIA. 01 Jan 1870. DRY PERIOD. 1789 Drought .1790, 1791 Drought 1792, 1793 WET PERIOD. 1799 Flood, 1800 Flood, 1801 Flood, 1802, 1803, 1804, 1805 Flood

THE CLIMATE OF AUSTRALIA. (1870, January 1). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 6. Retrieved February 27, 2020, from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/5809485#
Table of all the recorded floods and droughts in New South Wales since its first colonisation.
Where no observations are made against any year it may be presumed that the season was not characterised by any remarkable feature of drought or flood.
DRY PERIOD.
1789 Drought.
1790
1791 Drought
1792
1793
WET PERIOD.
1799 Flood
1800 Flood
1801 Flood
1802
1803
1804
1805 Flood
1806 Flood
1807 Flood
1808 Flood
1809 Flood
1810 Flood
DRY PERIOD.
1794
1795
1796
1797 Drought
1798.
WET PERIOD.
1811 Flood
1812 Flood
1813
1814 Severe drought
1815 Severe drought
1816 Flood
1817 Flood
1818 Slight drought
1819 Flood
1820 Flood
1821 Flood.
DRY PERIOD.
1833
1831
1835 Partial drought
1830 Partial drought
1837 Extreme drought
1838 Extreme drought
1839 Extreme drought
1810 Flood
1811 Slight drought
1812 Slight drought
1822 .
1823 Slight drought
1824 Slight drought
1825
1826 Flood
1827 Severe drought
1828 Severe drought
1829 Severe drought
1830 Flood
1831 Flood
1832 Flood
During the three years 1837, 1838, and
1839 some parts of the country were almost
without any rainfall at all.
WET PERIOD.
1843 Flood ………………………….1854
1844 Flood ………………………… 1855
1845 Drought ……………………. 1856 Flood
1846 Flood ……………………….. 1857 Flood
1847 Flood ……………………….. 1858
1848 Flood ……………………….. 1859 Flood
1849 Drought …………………… 1860
1850 Flood ………………………. 1861 Flood
1851 Flood ………………………. 1862 Flood
1852 Flood ……………………… 1863 Flood
1853 Flood …………………….. 1864 Flood.
DRY PERIOD.
1865 Slight drought ……….. 1868 Partial drought
I866 Slight drought ……….. 1869 Severe drought.
1867 Partial drought
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS.
Sir,—I see frequent  allusion in various publications and agricultural reports to the change which is coming over the Australian climate, especially evidenced in the droughts and diminished rainfall during the past few years.
The serious drought of last year, and its ruinous consequences to many engaged in pastoral and agricultural pursuits, renders it to them a most important matter to know if they are likely to experience a recurrence of similar seasons in the future, and if there is any rule by which they may be guided in forming an opinion.
The length of time that Victoria has been settled is not of sufficient duration to form any theory in reference to the recurrence of drought periods; but New South Wales has been established 80
years, and sufficient observations have been recorded to form the basis of a theory of a cycle of seasons, which may be of some service in estimating the probable kind of seasons we may expect in the future.
It is, of course, impossible to predict what any one or two seasons may be; but any one who will carefully study the annexed table must, I think, be convinced that there have been, in past times, a succession of more often-recurring drought seasons than have been experienced during the past 20 or 25 years, over which the experience of most Victorian squatters extends.
It is, moreover, well known to many who have traveled the interior of Australia that there are districts which are in a flooded state for some years, and that there are again periods during which they are dry for many seasons, as is evidenced by the tree growth on them. I have myself
seen in the coast districts of New South Wales many small swamps which have been underwater for upwards of 12 years, in which there is a growth of various tribes of eucalyptus (now quite dead from the water by which the roots are surrounded) which must have required, to have attained their present size, an absence of standing water for a period of fully 15 or 20 years.
The presence of such facts tends strongly to confirm the theory propounded of a cycle of
seasons of about 40 years in length, half of which is characterised by a prevalence of
drought seasons, and that the period of droughts has now commenced.
It may be objected that the observations refer to New South Wales. This is true, and will no doubt somewhat modify their application to Victoria, especially to those parts which are divided by a range of mountains from the interior or the continent ; but it is, on the other hand, well known that the droughts we experience in Victoria and the coast districts of New South Wales are to a very great extent a reflex of the kind of seasons experienced on the plains in the in-
terior, and for the purpose of a warning for the future may serve as a guide.
Should the theory of a cycle of seasons as indicated by the annexed table be correct, the importance of its being generally known cannot be over-estimated, and the necessity of providing as far as possible against the evils attending drought must be evident to all.
It is to warn such as are interested that I pen these few lines.
I may state that the sources from which the table has been compiled are the various observations made in the Sydney Observatory since its establishment; and previous to that
time by an examination of the newspapers and other publications of the periods to which they refer.
The table was for the most part compiled by Dr. Jevons, who was, I believe, for a long period in the employ of the New South Wales Government, I will not further trespass on your space,
but as I am impressed with the truth of Dr. Jevons’s theory, and having myself seen much
to confirm it, I desire to lay it before those who may feel any interest in the matter ; and am quite willing to communicate further privately to any one who may desire it, for which purpose I append my address.
I am your obedient servant.
THOMAS CARTER.
Box 54, Post-office, Melbourne.