15 May 1889
Chas H Caswell Esquire
A full answer to your questions would involve a knowledge of the rainfall and climate of the other colonies as full and complete as that which has been published for this colony, and that has not been made possible either for the Victoria or South Australia both are behind hand in the publishing which give the required information rain has been measured there; but abstracts such as would be [??] this case have not been published. I have compared the rainfall of [??], Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Deniliquin [in New South Wales] and the result is now in the press. I may tell you however generally that drought affects all the colonies, but that its intensity seems to increase with the average amount of rain, in other words: the greater the rainfall the greater the difference between a wet year and a very dry year. So that although judging from the information available, all the colonies seem to have the same number of droughts, it is felt more severely in New South Wales than Victoria. Taking the rain record in Melbourne from 1840 to 1887 the mean is 27.0 [??] and the driest year of all, 1865 has 15.94 of rain on the other hand from 1840 to 1887 the mean rainfall at Sydney was 49.54 [??] and the lowest fall on record 21.48 [??] [in 1849].
Hot winds are certainly much more prevalent in Victoria than in New South Wales.  Returns for 1888 are not in from the other colonies yet but from newspaper accounts I think the drought of 1888 affects the colonies with equal severity. If you look at Table three in 1887 or any recent rain reports you will find all available records of rainfall at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, et cetera. I hope that may help you.
H C Russell