SPRING HAS SPRUNG: Dayton Elliot, 2, of the Gold Coast feeding the baby lambs and a goat at The Macadamia Castle, Knockrow.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG: Dayton Elliot, 2, of the Gold Coast feeding the baby lambs and a goat at The Macadamia Castle, Knockrow. Patrick Gorbunovs

A spring in our step

RECENT warm weather may have had many people thinking summer had arrived early, but the first day of spring is officially tomorrow.

Flowers are blooming, animals around the region are giving birth to "little bundles of joy" and predominantly fine weather is expected to continue.

Alstonville Florist manager Alison Elford said early blooms of natives, orchids and stocks made for a technicolour spring spectacular.

"Some species are definitely blooming earlier due to the warm weather and as a florist it's exciting to be working with some of the colours and varieties available," she said.

"A lot of people have been coming in saying flowers are coming out earlier in their gardens too."

Ms Elford said customers could expect to see beautiful ranunculus, peony roses and local calla lilies in shops soon.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Felicity Gamble said neutral conditions in both the Pacific and Indian Ocean's indicated average temperatures were expected.

Ms Gamble said shifting away from the La Nina and El Nino conditions of the past few years should see more stable weather patterns return.

"Temperature models show no strong trend towards really warm conditions or really cool conditions," she said.

"Our outlook is indicating there is between a 60% and 70% chance of above-average rainfall for the Northern Rivers," she said.

Rural Fire Service Northern Rivers Inspector Daniel Ainsworth said the official bush fire danger period for the region starts tomorrow.

He said people living in the Ballina, Byron, Tweed, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Kyogle local government areas must get a fire permit before lighting any fires.

"However, even with a permit you need to check whether a total fire ban is in place before lighting any fires," he said.

At a glance

Bush fire season information is available from the Northern Rivers Fire Control Centre on 6663 0000 or Far North Coast Fire Control Centre 6672 7888, or rfs.nsw.gov.au



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