DESPITE intense storm activity in pockets across the region, rainfall on the Northern Rivers for January was below average.
Just 41.8mm of rain fell in Lismore during January, down by almost half from January last year when 78.6mm fell.
The historical average rainfall for Lismore during January is 155.4mm.
The dry trend was experienced across NSW, where the rainfall average was 38.8mm. The historical average is 67.3mm.
The Bureau of Meteorology recorded six thunderstorms in Lismore during January, three times as many as rec-orded in January last year, 2008 and 2007. Thunderstorm activity is expected to continue until March, according to bureau forecasters.
There is a 50 per cent chance of a return to normal rainfall across the Northern Rivers over the next three months as climate models suggest that current El Nino conditions may ease.
The three-month outlook shows a 70pc chance of above average temperatures on the Northern Rivers.
Casino recorded the highest level of rainfall during January with 148 mm, above the average of 136mm.
The lowest level of rain was recorded at Whiporie where just 32mm fell, 100mm below the average.
The wettest January onrecord in Lismore was in 2006 when 400.4mm of rain fell.