New South Wales

Rainfall welcomed but not drought breaking

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has released the latest State Seasonal Update, which indicates NSW received welcome widespread rainfall throughout August 2018; however 99.8 per cent of NSW remains in drought.

DPI’s Leader of Climate Applications and Digital Agriculture, Dr Anthony Clark said the recent rainfall is a positive start but totals were still average to very much below average across most of the state and drought conditions continue to be experienced.

“Significant falls occurred for parts of the Central Tablelands, North Coast, Northern Tablelands and a small area of the Western region around Bourke,” Dr Clark said.

“Reasonable falls were also recorded to the north of the South East region, the east of the Murray and Riverina regions as well as north of Singleton in the Hunter region.”

While August 2018 rainfall has provided a more positive outlook for NSW primary producers, there are still areas of ongoing concern and the forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology currently points to a higher chance of warm, dry conditions in spring.

“Parts of the state had minimal rainfall throughout August 2018 including much of the Western region, the western area of the Central West region, the area around Walgett in the North West region and areas south of Singleton in the Hunter received little to no rainfall,” Dr Clark said.

“These areas have been managing drought conditions for some time now, with the event duration now near, or in some cases, over twelve months.

“While the rain has been welcomed and has provided a more positive outlook for field conditions in some regions, the drought is far from over.

“We need more significant widespread rainfall in the coming weeks and months for agricultural recovery to commence and farmland to return to a productive state, however if the forecasted conditions eventuate we would see an increased intensification of the drought.”

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services will continue to monitor the seasonal conditions closely.

Source: NSW DPI