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Thu, 30 Aug, 2018Over60

Bad news for drought-stricken farmers

Bad news for drought-stricken farmers

Australia’s weather forecasters are predicting that warmer and drier than average conditions will continue well into spring across NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s 2018 Spring Outlook will offer no reprieve for our nation’s drought-stricken farmers, who have already struggled through the 12th driest winter on record.

Drought conditions are expected to intensify across eastern Australia as the temperature is likely to be warmer than usual in spring.

“A drier and warmer than average spring would likely mean intensification of the existing drought conditions across parts of eastern Australia and an increase in bushfire potential,” the BoM says in its outlook, released Thursday.

“Much of eastern and southern mainland Australia has experienced a very dry winter and start to 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.”

Andrew Watkins, manager of long-range forecasts at the BoM, told The Guardian that some parts of Australia had received less than half of their average rainfall in winter, with spring looking like it will bring similar dry conditions.

“We might expect to see summer start a little early this year in many places, a chance of an early heatwave is certainly on the cards for southern and south-eastern parts of Australia,” Mr Watkins said.

“Unfortunately no area is looking at good odds of above average rainfall, particularly in south-eastern Australia.”

Last month, 100 per cent of NSW was declared to be in drought after a winter that was among the state’s top five driest.