Rainfall at a premium as area dries up

A LATE flurry of wet weather towards the end of the year couldn’t prevent the region’s major centres from recording below-average rainfall for 2013.

Towns across the Northern Tablelands and North West Slopes and Plains all endured a year when rain was at a premium.

Glen Innes was left parched after it received just 601.4mm of rain for the year – a whopping 28.96 per cent below its annual average of 846.5mm.

Inverell and Tenterfield also experienced a paucity of rain, with the towns each down 20 per cent on their long-term yearly averages.

Armidale, Gunnedah, Moree and Guyra only fared slightly better, recording declines of between 16 and 18 per cent.

Tamworth, Quirindi and Narrabri were the only towns in the region that came close to matching their historic averages.

Avid observer Simon Fearby, who runs the popular Twitter feed @2340weather, said in terms of weather it had been a “boring” year for locals.

“It’s been a little bit too boring. I would have expected a lot more storms and I was hoping it was going to be more interesting,” he said.

“It went a bit dry for a while there, but it started getting a bit wet again and bringing our averages back up.”

The Bureau of Meteorology’s duty forecaster, Jake Phillips, said the dry spell could be traced to the emergence from a strong period of La Nina.

“It’s particularly noticeable compared to the past couple of years, when we were more in a La Nina pattern and had well-above-average rainfall for a couple of years,” he said.

Mr Fearby said, by interpreting the Earth’s major jetstream patterns, it was likely Tamworth and its surrounds would experience a dry start to the year.

“I can’t see anything on the forecast for at least the next 20 days or so, so I think it’s going to be a hot and dry country music festival,” he said.

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