Hot and dry start to the year predicted

FEELING THE HEAT: The sun setting over Young as the town braces itself for a predicted high temperature of 37 degrees during Friday. PICTURE by Rebecca Hewson
FEELING THE HEAT: The sun setting over Young as the town braces itself for a predicted high temperature of 37 degrees during Friday. PICTURE by Rebecca Hewson

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has forecast it to be a warmer start to the year with minimum and maximum temperatures predicted to be higher than average.

With a heatwave hitting the eastern parts of Australia BOM have said that it’s only the start of a hot couple of months.

“January to March maximum temperatures are likely to be warmer than average in eastern Australia.

“January to March minimum temperatures are likely to be warmer than average in eastern Australia,” the BOM website said.

The reason for the warmer temperatures is due to a negative Southern Annular Mode and warmer waters off of north-west Australia according to BOM. What this means is the Antarctic winds that influence the strength and position of cold fronts have expanded and the belt of westerly winds has moved towards the equator.

The news isn’t any better on the rain front either with BOM forecasting a dry start to 2017.

The bureau has predicted that rainfall across eastern Australia will be below average with only a 30-35 percent chance of Young reaching it’s median rainfall in the January to March period.

This time last year the weather was hot and dry too.

Rainfall was below average between February and April which made it the seventh-driest period on record for NSW before it moved into a wet and warm winter period.

The bureau said rain was well above average across most of inland and southern NSW.

Along with the flooding across parts of the region, Young also experienced warmer night time temperatures.

The bureau said 2016 was the sixth-warmest year on record for NSW mean temperatures, 1.08 degrees above the historical average. 

“The statewide average minimum temperature was 1.24 degrees above average, the warmest year on record,” the bureau said.

Despite the warmer than average temperatures and high rainfall over the past year BOM climatologists have said, there is no El Nino or La Nina weather patterns present at the moment.

“The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral—neither El Niño nor La Niña.” Climatologists said.

BEATING THE HEAT: Animals and humans alike have all been finding ways to cool off from the summer heat. PICTURE by Rebecca Hewson

BEATING THE HEAT: Animals and humans alike have all been finding ways to cool off from the summer heat. PICTURE by Rebecca Hewson