Dry spring leads to hot sum­mer

South Western Times - - News - Stu­art McGuckin

Bun­bury’s dri­est spring on record will likely lead into a warmer than av­er­age sum­mer, ac­cord­ing to Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy spokesman Neil Ben­nett.

Just 69.8mm of rain fell dur­ing the three months of spring as the gauges fell al­most 20mm short of the pre­vi­ous low set in 2010.

The av­er­age rain­fall for the pe­riod is 136.5mm.

Mr Ben­nett said a com­par­a­tively wet Oc­to­ber was the only thing that stopped more records be­ing bro­ken across the re­gion.

“Septem­ber and Novem­ber were very dry but we man­aged to get close to the aver­ages, and in some places above the aver­ages, dur­ing Oc­to­ber,” he said.

“If it hadn’t been for that we would have likely seen a few more records fall.”

Rain­fall was be­low av­er­age across the South West re­gion while tem­per­a­tures were also higher than av­er­age.

Mr Ben­nett said there was po­ten­tial for higher bush­fire dan­ger con­di­tions dur­ing sum­mer due to an out­look that sig­nalled higher than av­er­age tem­per­a­tures.

“It could be re­ally im­por­tant for peo­ple to have their fire ac­tion plans in place,” he said.

“There is abun­dant veg­e­ta­tion be­cause of all the win­ter rains but it would have dried out in the sub­se­quent months.”

Depart­ment of Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices South West district of­fi­cer Tim Wall re­it­er­ated that there would be an above av­er­age bush­fire risk this sum­mer.

“That’s also due to hav­ing two mild sea­sons,” he said.

“There is cer­tainly a lot more fuel around due to the con­di­tions dur­ing win­ter and spring – that means there will be a height­ened bush­fire risk.”

He said peo­ple would still need to do the same things they do every year in or­der to be pre­pared for po­ten­tial dan­ger.

“We are not ask­ing peo­ple to do any­thing dif­fer­ently other than what we ask every year,” he said.

“Peo­ple liv­ing near bush­land or in ru­ral res­i­den­tial ar­eas need to com­ply with their lo­cal gov­ern­ment rules and reg­u­la­tions.

“That means mak­ing sure they keep their pro­pri­eties clean and en­sur­ing they have ap­pro­pri­ately clear breaks.”

He said hav­ing plans in place was a vi­tal as­pect of be­ing pre­pared.

“We also want peo­ple to have plans in place so they can be vig­i­lant and act ap­pro­pri­ately if some­thing does hap­pen,” he said.

“Whether that is stay­ing or leav­ing there needs to be a plan.”

Mr Ben­nett said there was no clear in­di­ca­tion whether sum­mer rain­fall would be above or be­low av­er­age.

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