Rain closes sports grounds

It was more like water polo than football when Alstonville and Rovers met in this Grade 12 clash at Geoff Watt Field on Saturday in one of the only games to proceed because of the weather.
It was more like water polo than football when Alstonville and Rovers met in this Grade 12 clash at Geoff Watt Field on Saturday in one of the only games to proceed because of the weather. Steve Mackney

HEAVY rainfall on the Northern Rivers has caused headaches for sports organisers and players.

So far in April the region has received twice the median rainfall of previous years and many sports grounds have been closed.

"There's a fear grounds will be damaged if games go ahead," Football Far North Coast general manager Steve Mackney said.

"If a field gets churned up, it's not going to be repaired and suitable for playing for the rest of the season."

Mr Mackney said wet weather was one of his organisation's "biggest ongoing challenges".

"Our window of opportunity to play is Friday, Saturday and Sunday and that's when we've been getting hit with bad weather," Mr Mackney said.

"If the bad weather continues, there will be people who say, 'I can't be bothered', and then they'll quit.

"Worst case scenario is clubs will close."

More than 160 senior soccer games and five first-grade rugby league and union games were cancelled on the weekend.

According to Coffs Harbour Bureau of Meteorology weather observer Liam Carroll, heavy rain could also be expected for coming months.

"We have above-average ocean temperatures which helps create more moisture and enhances rainfall," Mr Carroll said.

"The Northern Rivers is expecting about a 70 to 75% chance of above average rainfall for the next three months."

Temperatures were relatively low in April and Lismore had its coldest recorded of the month on Thursday - 10.2 degrees.

However, Mr Carroll said the region could expect warmer-than-average nights in the next three months.

The La Nina responsible for high rainfall during summer had officially ended.

Mr Carroll said an El Nino, associated with drier and warmer than average conditions, would settle in during winter and spring.


Northern Rivers Forecast

Today 22 degrees and possible shower

Tomorrow 23 degreesand possible shower Wednesday 23 degrees and possible shower

Thursday 23 degreesand rain

Friday 23 degrees and showers

Topics:  rain, weather

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