Hot and dry in 2018

Shepparton News - Country News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rod­ney Woods

The coun­try’s chief weather fore­caster has sug­gested 2018 will be one of the 10 warm­est years on record.

The Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy’s pre­lim­i­nary end-of-year re­sults also re­vealed the worst kept se­cret — that 2018 was a drier than av­er­age year for Vic­to­ria and NSW.

All ma­jor towns across the south­ern Rive­rina and north­ern Vic­to­ria recorded well be­low their yearly av­er­age, with Fin­ley record­ing just 90.7 mm com­pared to its nor­mal 12-month av­er­age of 430.4 mm.

It was not the only NSW town to ex­pe­ri­ence drought con­di­tions; De­niliquin re­ceived 190.3 mm in 2018, when its av­er­age to­tal rain­fall for a year is 393.6 mm.

In north­ern Vic­to­ria, Shep­par­ton recorded 266.4 mm, down from its yearly av­er­age of 442.7 mm; Kerang recorded 224.4 mm (375.7 mm); and Co­bram 277.5 mm (467.1 mm).

While ev­ery town failed to reach its av­er­age rain­fall to­tals, Euroa (474.4 mm), Man­ga­lore (432.8 mm) and Be­nalla (400.6 mm) recorded up­wards of 400 mm.

Look­ing ahead, the bureau’s Jan­uary to March cli­mate out­look said there was no strong push to­wards a wet­ter or drier than av­er­age sea­son dur­ing those months, and warmer than av­er­age days and nights are likely for al­most all of Aus­tralia dur­ing the same pe­riod.

Weath­er­ing the storm . . . Pho­tog­ra­pher Rene Martens cap­tured a sum­mer storm at Win­ton, north of Be­nalla, late last year.

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