Rain outlook not good
It’s not the news our farmers wanted, but it looks like there will be little relief from the prevailing drought conditions in the months ahead.
According to the latest climate outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology, issued 16 August 2018, the first months of spring (September and October) are likely to be drier than average across the Central West and Central Tablelands.
In fact the Bureau give only a 35-45 per cent chance of exceeding average rainfall for much of southern inland New South Wales. September and October in particular are likely to be drier than average, which does not bode well for landholders desperate for water and fodder.
“Much of eastern and southern mainland Australia have experienced a very dry first half of the year, so an outlook with increased chances of drier conditions indicates areas currently experiencing drought are less likely to see significant respite in the coming three months,” reads the outlook report from the Bureau.
And above average daytime temperatures experienced across Australia so far this year are likely to continue.
Spring days and nights are likely to be warmer than average for most areas, except for parts of northern Australia and the southeast of the mainland.
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is currently neutral, but there is an increased chance (50 per cent) of El Niño forming in the coming months.
El Niño typically means below average rainfall during spring for northern and eastern Australia, and warmer days for the southern two-thirds of the country.
In addition to natural drivers such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, the Bureau said Australian climate patterns are being influenced by the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.
Reporting news like this gives us no pleasure but painting a picture that’s simply not right, is no help either. Hopefully, in between the bad news about the drought, we’ll have lots of good news stories to report as well.