DROUGHT conditions have returned with a vengeance across much of New South Wales, particularly in the west of the state, despite isolated rainfall throughout the past month, according to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) State Seasonal Update for November.
With conditions warming into summer, regional NSW remains on a high level alert with continued hand feeding and stock water shortages following a failed 2018 spring season.
DPI Leader of Climate Applications and Digital Agriculture, Anthony Clark said on ground conditions were highly complex, due to storm rainfall patterns that had been passing across NSW.
“Areas around Walgett, Coonamble and Broken Hill received low rainfall in November and have now experienced prolonged intense agronomic dry conditions for over 12 months,” Dr Clark said.
“The continuation of the drought means stock water levels remain critically low across large parts of NSW, particularly in the Western, North West and Central West regions.
“During November, scattered storms provided above 100 millimetres in the Central Tablelands, Greater Sydney and South East regions, with high falls also recorded in the Alpine zone.
“Isolated areas in parts of the coastal Hinterland, southern Central and Northern Tablelands are faring better than most with positive signs of strong pasture growth.
“In late November a large low pressure system provided over 100mm of rainfall in parts of the Sydney Basin through to Wollongong, but the benefits will not be seen for some weeks and given its geographic distribution, it will not significantly change the state-wide drought.”
The Bureau of Meteorology rainfall outlook for December to February indicates there is a near equal chance, 40-60 per cent, of wetter or drier that average conditions across most of NSW.
There is an increased chance of warmer than average daytime and overnight temperatures across all of NSW.
Source: NSW DPI. Visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au for more information on the NSW Drought Relief Package.