Drought far from over, but it's a nice start

Robertson tops rainfall total in five day event with 698mm


A state-wide snapshot of the NSW weather.

Before and after, Warren Williams has recorded 173mm since January 15 on his patch near Geurie. Photo Warren Williams

Before and after, Warren Williams has recorded 173mm since January 15 on his patch near Geurie. Photo Warren Williams

It's been the rain event everyone has been waiting for, in fact many have been praying for - and for some it's far from over.

In five days Robertson in the Southern Highlands received the state's highest rainfall for that period with 698mm.

But while places from drought stricken Walgett to bush fire-ravaged Taree saw much-needed rain, areas in the Riverina, southern slopes and west of Cobar missed out on significant falls.

However, the Riverina is expected to see showers this week due to a stationary inland trough, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

On the coast, Taree recorded 287mm, the most rainfall in a six-day event since 2011 while Collarenebri has seen 107mm, the highest five day total since 2010.

At Geurie Warren Williams took a before and after image of a dam on his property saying the recent rainfall of 173mm had meant they would have water for domestic consumption for the next 12 months.

Mr Williams has been carting water for the past two years, about 250,000 litres as dams had run dry.

"It's been great to see widespread rain, it has filled our tanks and dams," Mr Williams said.

Related reading:

Walgett family back in the business of farming if more rain comes

Is this the start of widespread rain?

NSW Farmers' president James Jackson said rainfall had helped to lifted the spirits of some drought and bushfire stricken farming communities in NSW, but the financial benefits would not flow for many months.

Mr Jackson said good rainfall in the north of the state had filled dams and boosted soil moisture levels.

"It's been a huge relief for many livestock producers who have been feeding out every day and the psychological boost that this rain has provided is vitally important. It's amazing what looking at green pastures can do for livestock and dairy farmers," Mr Jackson said.

"It is generally too late for summer crop prospects, but there may be some opportunities for late sorghum and maize forage crop plantings. Grain growers will be keeping a close eye on soil moisture profiles for winter cereal crops, so any real income generation is still many months away."

He said it had come at a critical time for horticulture producers on the north coast who had depleted water storages, but again the money would not flow for up to two years for permanent plantings.

Rainfall totals since Thursday

(source The Bureau of Meteorology)

Robertson: 698mm

Linden (Central Tablelands): 631mm

Cudgera Creek (Northern Rivers) 605mm

Wentworth Falls (Central Tablelands) 590mm

Faulconbridge 563mm

Berkeley Vale (Hunter) 534mm

Coffs Harbour 311mm

Taree: 287mm

Nimmitabel: 177mm

Inverell 104mm

Collarenebri: 107mm

Braidwood: 111mm

Coonabarabran: 83mm

Walgett: 70mm

Dubbo: 56mm

Cobar: 44.6mm

Hillston: 34mm


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