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A farmer and his children play in a water-starved field where his livestock once grazed. Photo by Amy Toensing/National Geographic

BALRANALD, NSW, AUSTRALIA — FEBRUARY 7, 2008: Simon Booth and his two kids Claire and Ryan travel out to his paddocks to see if any of it received rain from the storm the day before. One area had received just under 2 inches (184 points) – the most rain in one incident in over 10 years for his station.

BOOLIGAL, NSW – AUSTRALIA — FEBRUARY 7, 2008: Sandra Ireson takes a swim with her kids Lochie, Ellie and Pip. Matt Ireson decided to put a pool in his backyard despite the drought so that his family could have a place to get away from the dusty dry heat of their farm.