Fore­cast for dry win­ter

Great Southern Herald - - News - Tayler Neale

The Great South­ern can ex­pect a drier-than-av­er­age win­ter for 2017, ac­cord­ing to the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy.

With 152mm of rain­fall so far this year, Al­bany is on track for its an­nual av­er­age rain­fall but cool tem­per­a­tures in the In­dian Ocean and warmer ones in the Pa­cific are ex­pected to limit rain on the South Coast.

BOM Al­bany sta­tion duty ob­server Jenny Feast said de­spite many class­ing 2016 as a wet year, the 914mm that fell was just be­low the 930mm an­nual av­er­age for Al­bany. “Last year was ac­tu­ally right on av­er­age but be­cause we’ve had so many be­low-av­er­age years of rain­fall, last year did ap­pear to be wet­ter than nor­mal,” she said.

Ms Feast said Al­bany would re­ceive less rain than nor­mal through the win­ter months.

“It does look like May will be quite dry, June will be about av­er­age but for the three months for Al­bany and the South Coast, it does look like we are ex­pect­ing a drier-thanaver­age win­ter,” she said

“At the mo­ment, what we find is we’ve got cooler-thanaver­age tem­per­a­tures in the east­ern In­dian Ocean and then we’ve got warmer-than-av­er­age sea sur­face tem­per­a­tures in the Pa­cific Ocean.

“As a re­sult of that, we tend to see higher rain­fall through­out the north­ern parts of Aus­tralia, then the cooler tem­per­a­tures in the In­dian Ocean tend to de­pict less rain­fall around the south­ern parts of Western Aus­tralia.”

Tem­per­a­tures are also ex­pected to be warmer in 2017, ac­cord­ing to Ms Feast. “It looks like we will see above-av­er­age day­time tem­per­a­tures — night­time tem­per­a­tures will also be warmer,” she said.

“They are in­flu­enced by that warm­ing trop­i­cal Pa­cific sea sur­face tem­per­a­ture and the cooler In­dian Ocean.”

Only 2mm of rain has fallen so far in May but a cold front is ex­pected to hit Al­bany over the week­end.

BOM Al­bany sta­tion duty ob­server Jenny Feast is ex­pect­ing a drier-than-av­er­age win­ter for Al­bany this year. Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

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