Cool, dry spring tipped for re­gion

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times News - Karen Hunt

There is a 70 per cent chance that we will get less than av­er­age rain­fall in the South West. - Bureau duty fore­caster Cal­lum Stu­art

AF­TER a gen­er­ally warm, dry win­ter, the South West ap­pears on course for a drier but cooler than av­er­age spring, the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy said on Fri­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the bureau, win­ter days were uni­formly warmer than nor­mal in WA, with max­i­mum and min­i­mum tem­per­a­tures above av­er­age and nights were warmer in the South West.

It was a dry win­ter across much of the State – the 11th dri­est on record – with the South West record­ing its dri­est win­ter over­all since 2014.

Man­jimup’s win­ter rain­fall to­tal of 377mm was be­low the av­er­age of 479.6mm but Bridgetown bucked the trend with 417.6mm, well above its av­er­age of 350.9mm. “That’s quite a vari­a­tion for towns that are rea­son­ably close to­gether,” bureau duty fore­caster Cal­lum Stu­art said.

Bridgetown’s av­er­age max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture over win­ter was 16.4C, 0.1C above av­er­age, while Man­jimup’s av­er­age max­i­mum of 15.8C was 0.9C above av­er­age. Min­i­mum tem­per­a­tures in Bridgetown and Man­jimup were also above av­er­age, he said.

Bridgetown’s av­er­age min­i­mum of 5.2C was 0.3C above the long-term av­er­age and Man­jimup’s av­er­age min­i­mum of 7.3C was half a de­gree above the longterm av­er­age.

Bureau cli­mate prediction man­ager Dr An­drew Watkins said the rain­fall out­look for spring in­di­cated be­low av­er­age falls for the South West. “Warm wa­ters in the cen­tral In­dian Ocean may re­sult in higher pres­sures south of Aus­tralia, re­sult­ing in more easterly winds, keep­ing the west drier than av­er­age,” he said.

Mr Stu­art said the out­look for the South West in­di­cated a drier but cooler spring, with only a 30 per cent chance of ex­ceed­ing mean rain­fall fore­casts.

“There is a 70 per cent chance that we will get less than av­er­age rain­fall in the South West.”

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