Dry end to summer in western NSW

Dry end to summer in western NSW | Weather In Focus

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Dry weather will persist across most of NSW during the final days of February


DRY weather will persist across most of NSW during the final days of February, with almost all of the state still affected by drought as summer draws to a close.

Despite heavy rain in parts of eastern NSW during January and February, many areas west of the divide have only seen sporadic falls during the opening months of 2020.

Between January 1 and February 25, some areas in eastern NSW received more than 400 millimetres more rain than they would typically see during the first two months of the year.

West of the divide, parts of the state's North West Slopes and Plains are also running about 50mm to 100mm above average for the year to date.

However, most central western, south western and far western parts of the state have seen near or below average rain during the last two months.

While the rain that has fallen has been welcomed with open arms, it hasn't been enough to make up for the rainfall deficits that have built up during the past few years.

During the 24 months ending in January 2020, most of NSW had received between 300mm and 1200mm less rain than they usually would throughout this period.

This means it will take several months of above average rain to recover from this prolonged dry spell.

As of February 23, only 1.2 per cent of the state was not in drought, according to the Department of Primary Industries.

The other 98.8pc of NSW was in one of three drought categories: Drought Affected (43.7pc), Drought (33.1pc) and Intense Drought (22pc).

By Tuesday this week, Burrendong Dam, Pindari Dam and Split Rock Dam were all still below 10pc of capacity.

Looking ahead, there are signs that the interaction of tropical moisture with a low pressure trough could bring some rain and storms to western NSW during the opening week of March.

While this rain won't break the drought, anything is welcome at the moment.


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