Much of Orange woke to long overdue rain on Sunday morning, but a lot more is needed to help drought-stricken farmers and to approach the monthly average for August.
By 3pm on Sunday the Bureau of Meteorology had recorded 2.2 millimetres of rain since 9am at Orange Regional Airport, following on from the 5.4 millimetres recorded in the previous 24 hours.
Wellington and Dubbo received more than 20 millimetres over the weekend, while other parts of western NSW were wetter still.
Welcome? Yes, but not nearly enough to get farmers back on an even keel, according to BoM's NSW manager Ann Farrell.
“The deficiencies in those areas are really large, and the sort of numbers we are talking about would require follow-up rain for sure to have any benefits for those areas,” Ms Farrell said.
This particular rain wouldn't normally have a great deal of interest in it.The Bureau of Meteorology's NSW manager Ann Farrell
She said the volumes of rain recorded in Orange and other parts of the state this weekend would not, under normal circumstances, be particularly noteworthy.
“This particular rain wouldn't normally have a great deal of interest in it,” Ms Farrell said.
"[But] because it's occurring over some of the drought-affected areas, it's some of the best rain those areas have seen in quite some time.”
Little rain was forecast this week before Friday, when www.weatherzone.com.au’s seven-day forecast predicts a 90 per cent chance of between 10 and 20 millimetres of rain in Orange.
There’s also a chance of some thunderstorms in the region, according to some meteorological modelling, but it is not certain at this stage.
“This particular event it is going to be very potentially hit and miss, that's the nature with rainfall that comes out of thunderstorms,” Ms Farrell said.
“Some places can get quiet heavy downpours whereas neighbouring areas could completely miss out.”
Orange’s rainfall total for the month, with only a few days to go, is sitting just below 50 millimetres, compared to our long-term August monthly average of 84 millimetres.
Earlier this month, the BoM forecast a drier than average September and October, its seasonal climate outlook predicting a dry and warm spring that would exacerbate existing drought conditions.
It also forecast warmer than average spring days, with night temperatures also expected to be higher than average.
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