January?s rain a dry argument
By LEONIE BRANN
BETTY FERNANCE has been collecting rainfall data on her Pimlico property for nearly 60 years, and she says she has never known this area to be this dry in summer.
"We usually get the majority of the rain for the year in the summer season," she said. "We used to get so much rain I would not need to get the hose out for at least three months after summer. But I have the hose out every day now.
"Floods used to be common, but I can't remember the last flood and I have been writing down the rainfall, every day, since June 1966."
Only 100 mm of rain fell on Pimlico up to yesterday morning, compared with 161 mm for the same period in 2004, according to Mrs Fernance's figures.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) average rainfall figures for January show a marked drop in rainfall at Ballina from 228.4 mm in 2004 to 47.2 mm for 2005; Byron Bay 144.2 mm in 2004 and 91.6 in the same period 2005. The only area in the Northern Rivers that did not experience a dramatic drop in average rainfall for January was Casino, with 157.6 mm in 2004 and 141.6 mm in 2005.
While the bureau expects more rainfall in our area in the summer months, the temperature is also expected to be above average.
From February to April the chances of above median rainfall are between 45 and 55 per cent in NSW, and there is a 60 to 65 per cent chance of above average temperatures, for the same peri- od, in northern NSW.