News

Our rainfall levels second-lowest in more than a century

Rocky Creek Dam during the 2003 drought, when it fell to only 25% of capacity. It is currently 80% full.
Rocky Creek Dam during the 2003 drought, when it fell to only 25% of capacity. It is currently 80% full.

RAINFALL levels are the second-lowest in more than a century.

Figures from the Bureau of Meteorology show the Northern Rivers has only received less rainfall over the past 12 months once since records began in 1902.

BOM senior climatologist Agata Imielska said the Northern Rivers had experienced "significant" dry periods as well as above average temperatures.

"It's quite impressive how quickly these (rain) deficiencies have built up given that in 2010 through to 2012 we had very strong La Nina events and record flooding and very much above average rainfall," she said.

"And then we had quite a strong shift towards dry conditions, and particularly dry across north eastern NSW and south-east Queensland.

"Normally when we do get drier conditions they are associated with El Nino… but last year we didn't have an El Nino, but our temperature during 2013 as a whole, Australia had its warmest year on record."

Ms Imielska said the Northern Rivers has been given a 40-45% chance of exceeding the median monthly rainfall for the coming months.

"There isn't a particular push, in terms of these climate drivers, that is showing up that would mean either above or below average rainfall," she said.

Ms Imielska said climate conditions were affected by drivers such as La Nina or El Nino phases, southern annual mode, Indian Ocean Dipole and day to day weather fluctuations.

"This winter so far has been quite an interesting one in the sense that there's been things going on with each of these drivers pointing in different directions," she said.

"It's almost like a soup of climate drivers and it's not necessarily clear which one's the most dominant but they're certainly all interacting together."

Rocky Creek damn levels are the lowest they've been in five years with the current water level at 80%. For the past five years during the same period the water level has been about 99-100%.

Levels were at their lowest at the end of March this year.

Topics:  drought rainfall weather



Highway upgrade work to affect drivers for the long haul

Pacific highway upgrade will change traffic conditions for the next two years.

Over the next two years changed traffic conditions will be in place

OPINION: Are smart phones killing conversation?

Seeing people looking at their phone, not conversing, is depressing

Byron gets electric on vehicles with new charging station

Electric cars may be the way of the future for Byron Bay residents.

Over 50 people attended the popular Electric Vehicle Expo

Local Partners

Nadia visits Coast to escape Married At First Sight drama

MARRIED At First Sight contestant Nadia Stamp escaped to the Coast for a girl's weekend to take stock ahead of week of drama.

‘I didn’t stuff it up like you have’: Plibersek on Q&A

“I didn’t stuff it up the way you have stuffed it up, George”: Tanya Plibersek.

Plibersek lashed out at Brandis to plenty of applause

MKR cheating scandal: Alyse and Matt hit back

Matt Jenner shows his MKR rivals the curry paste he and Alyse used.

Alyse and Matt Jenner have hit back at claims they cheated on MKR

MKR rocked by satay sauce cheating scandal

Alyse and Matt slammed for satay sauce fiasco.

'Nasty' Married At First Sight groom ripped apart on TV

Anthony gets torn down during the Married At First Sight commitment ceremony.

MAFS groom Anthony faces the music after fiery dinner party.

MOVIE REVIEW: Matt Damon's The Great Wall gets lost

Matt Damon fails in a scene from the movie The Great Wall.

Did The Great Wall get lost in translation?

Paul Murray listens to regions

Paul Murray is taking his Sky News show on the road to shine a spotlight on regional Australia.

Radio broadcaster wants viewers to 'turn up and fire up'

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Proposed $21 million airpark in holding pattern

A front view of the proposed new aviation museum at Evans Head.

Late businessman's dream on hold ... for now

Clarence River island paradise selling for $5M

Former Ballina councillor Margaret Howes is selling her island getaway.

GALLERY: Tropical getaway with beaches and airstrip put on market.

Bidding could start at $1.4M for sought after property

Farrell McCrohon's Jojo Newby rides on a property recently listed at Buccarumbi

One of largest rural properties on market to go under hammer today

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!