IT'S WET: Wollongbar Primary School student Carlie Yager and her library teacher Mary McKay huddle under their umbrella for a photo in the rain.
IT'S WET: Wollongbar Primary School student Carlie Yager and her library teacher Mary McKay huddle under their umbrella for a photo in the rain. David Nielsen

Wet winter will hit home

AS rain pelted down and the kids went a little 'crazy' cooped up indoors, Wollongbar Primary School teacher Mary McKay yesterday knew it was time to pull out her winter woollies.

Tomorrow will mark the first day of winter, and according to Bureau of Meteorology climate officer Shannon Symons, we should expect it to be colder than average with more rain than usual.

"The library is the place to go in winter, when it's cold and raining," Ms McKay said.

"I just hope the rain doesn't last too long. The kids go a bit crazy when they can't go outside."

But Ms Symons said based on current ocean conditions we were in for a mighty cold, wet winter.

"There are higher than average temperatures in the Indian Ocean and cooler than average temperatures in the central and western equatorial ocean, which show us there is a 55 to 60 per cent chance the Northern Rivers will get above average rainfall this winter," Ms Symons said.

"And it indicates it is likely to be cooler than average most days, so you should be prepared to rug up."

Based on temperature figures collected over the past 10 years, Ballina's average minimum temperature for winter is 12.2 degrees, while Byron Bay's is 8.9, Lismore's is 6.4 and Casino's is 7.3.

And it is expected to be even colder this time around.

Our average maximum winter temperatures, which we are not expected to exceed this year, are 20.4 degrees at Ballina, 19.8 at Byron Bay, 21.4 at Lismore and 21.8 at Casino.

The average rainfalls for winter, which we can expect to exceed this year, are 403mm at Ballina, 360mm at Byron Bay, 174.4mm at Lismore and 167.2 at Casino.

Meanwhile, Weatherzone is warning North Coast residents to prepare for a wild and woolly weekend as severe weather threatens the region.

Heavy rain and gusty winds are expected this weekend as they make their way down the coast from south-east Queensland, as a result of a low pressure system and moist easterly winds.

On a more positive note, it should give our water catchments a chance to fill up, and if you take a leaf out of Ms McKay's book, it's a great excuse to snuggle up with a glass of red and a good novel.


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