Hotter and drier: Bureau’s long-range forecast is not pretty for farmers

LAST weekend’s early blast of summer came as a surprise for some, but for those living on the land it was the continuation of a big dry that once again threatens to tear the heart out of their crops and livestock supplies.

And the bad news is, there doesn’t seem to be much relief in sight as we creep closer to the warmer months of the year.

While people are loathe to use the word ‘drought’ just yet, the lack of precipitation combined with the unusually warm spring temperatures has our primary producers worried.

The conditions also have our rural fire service on edge, with the official start of the fire season scheduled for this weekend.

VIDEO: Climate and water outlook for the next three months:

But in their most recent Climate and Water Outlook video, the Bureau of Meteorology had no good news to report with their predictions for the October to December period.

“Influences from the Indian and Pacific oceans are likely to be competing,” Senior Climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said.

“The slight drying influence from the Indian Ocean is likely to be cancelling out the slightly wetter influence from the Pacific.

“This means the October to December outlook shows an equal chance of wetter or dryer conditions across Australia.

“We are also likely to see a continuation of warmer than average daytime temperatures for October to December. Nights are also likely to be much warmer (than usual).”

WILL IT RAIN?: The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall outlook for the October-December period.

WILL IT RAIN?: The Bureau of Meteorology's rainfall outlook for the October-December period.

The bureau’s rainfall projections for the next three months don’t make for pretty reading, despite the pretty colours used to highlight the projections.

Orange sits in a part of the state predicted to receive somewhere in the vicinity of 100-200mm but what that actual figure is remains anyone’s guess.

The further west you go, the worse things appear to get with some areas staring down the barrel of just 50-100mm in the same three-month period.

None of these figures are above the average predictions for this time of year, and will do little to counter what was an uncharacteristically dry winter.