Weather not so wet



Rainfall for the year is below average despite recent dropsFOR Dunoon postmaster, Bernie Ramsey, the key weather moment for March 2005 was that there wasn't any.

"We had 35mm of rain for the whole of March," said the weather enthusiast, who has one rain gauge at the house and one at the post office to ensure maximum accuracy.

"Compared to March last year when we got 237mm. And even in 2003 when we had the drought, we got 155mm."

Dunoon macadamia farmer, John Cameron, said it's been the driest February/March for 20 years or more.

Ironically, while farmers had been praying for rain, the recent wet weather is now throwing a spanner in the works, with machinery unable to get amongst the trees in the wet.

"We as farmers want the rain, but it has put us back on our harvesting," he said.

McLeans Ridges weather enthusiast, Michael Bath, who collects data for the Bureau of Meteorology, said the Alstonville Plateau had only received 15 to 20 per cent of it's normal rainfall for March.

"And that's on top of a very dry February, which is particularly unusual," he said.

He's been collecting data since 1987 and calls it 'fairly close' to the driest ever.

"The weather pattern we've got now is the sort of thing we've been lacking ? south east to easterly winds onto the North Coast. The bulk of the rain in this area comes from that weather pattern."

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist, Mike De Salis, said rainfall for the first three months of the year had been well down on the the average, however no records had been broken.

In March 2005 Ballina recorded 75mm of rain compared to an average of 215mm, however in 1998 a mere 38mm of rain had fallen.

Lismore recorded 71mm compared to an historical average of 188mm, while Casino registered just 65mm instead of the average of 148mm.

Temperatures hovered around the usual averages for all three centres, with a high of 36 degrees and 35 degrees recorded in Casino and Lismore respectively in March.



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