Coastal sta­tions see barely a drop

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

The Pil­bara coast is in the grip of one of its dri­est starts to mon­soon sea­son, with barely a drop of rain reg­is­ter­ing in coastal sta­tions to date.

It is just the fifth time less than one mil­lime­tre of rain has fallen be­tween Novem­ber 1 and Jan­uary 25 at the Kar­ratha Aero sta­tion since records be­gan in 1972.

Just 0.4mm has fallen in Kar­ratha, the low­est since 2001-02 when just 0.2mm was recorded by the end of Jan­uary.

For Pyra­mid Sta­tion man­ager Glen Con­nell the dry spell has been pro­longed. He missed out on much of the late-sea­son rain which went south of Kar­ratha last year.

“We had 4.4mm at the house and it sprin­kled out the back coun­try the other day, so there’s one sec­tion of creek that’s run­ning,” he said.

“Last year, as far as I can re­mem­ber, was a pretty bad year for us. For me, last sum­mer was the dri­est one we ever had.

“Our catch­ment is up there in the Chich­ester Range, east of Python Pool. It does get a lot of storms up there but un­less the river flows, we tend to not get much our way.”

Mr Con­nell said he re­mained op­ti­mistic of a de­cent fall in the se­cond half of the wet sea­son.

Onslow and Port Hed­land are yet to record any rain, while Roe­bourne Aero has reg­is­tered only 1mm and Lear­month air­port just 0.6mm

In­land, New­man and Parabur­doo are both clos­ing in on their Jan­uary av­er­ages af­ter hav­ing slightly above av­er­age Novem­ber falls and a dry De­cem­ber.

Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy spokesman Neil Ben­nett said there was lit­tle hope for sig­nif­i­cant rains un­til the end of the month.

“We are see­ing much warmer than nor­mal In­dian ocean tem­per­a­tures so there is a pos­si­bil­ity if we do get a sys­tem that orig­i­nates over that warm area you could jump to the con­clu­sion that it could bring some heavy rain­fall,” he said.

“That be­ing the case, we wouldn’t see any rea­son there wouldn’t be a re­turn to nor­mal rain­fall for Kar­ratha in Fe­bru­ary-March.”

It is the se­cond dry start to the wet sea­son in a row, af­ter only 2mm was recorded by the end of Jan­uary last year.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Sum­mer storms around the Pil­bara coast have failed to bring any sig­nif­i­cant rains to date.

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