89pc of NSW now hit by the drought
WHILE parts of the North Coast have burst into life with greening hills and morning fogs after recent rainfall, the rest of NSW is still battling drought.
Official figures released yesterday by the NSW Government showed a further 1 per cent of the State was now in drought.
This brings the total area of the State affected by drought to 89pc, with almost another 14pc marginally affected.
The North Coast and the Mid-North Coast were the only areas to get some satisfactory rainfall.
However, rainfall in about one-third of the North Coast – in the north-west of the region – was considered marginal.
Bureau of Meteorology climate monitoring officer Mike De Salissaid there was an interplay of factors behind the North Coast’s high level of rainfall.
The easterly extent of the coast meant it was exposed to rain-producing winds from the south-east.
These coastal wind streams were forced upward where they hit the mountain range and then formed rain-producing clouds.
This weather cycle meant that the region generally received good rainfalls.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries Steve Whan said recent rain across the State had fallen against a backdrop of a decade-long rainfall deficit, record high temperatures and severely stressed water supplies.
The State water storage level was currently about 27pc ofcapacity.
This was down about 3pc from last month and about 1pc lower than the same time last year.
Mr Whan said while the December rain was welcome it came too late to improve conditions significantly, while the south-eastern coastal area and the south-western areas of the Riverina missed out entirely.
“Pastures remain poor in many areas, with many farmers waiting to see how they respond to the rains,” he said.
Livestock condition in many parts of the State, apart from the north-east, was also poor.
“Farmers are supplementary feeding their livestock in many areas to maintain condition,” Mr Whan said.