WITH less than a month of 2018 to go, and no significant rainfall predicted, the Central West looks set to record a very dry year.
The entire region remains drought declared, with 12 per cent of the Central Tablelands and 42.3 per cent of the Central West in ‘intense drought’.
Weatherzone data reveals that each of its rain gauges across the region has recorded well below average rainfall, but none were as dry as those in Dubbo and Parkes.
So far this year, these locations have recorded less than half of the long-term annual rainfall.
Dubbo has received just 277.2 millimetres of rain during 2018, which is way down on the city’s yearly average of 625.4mm.
Parkes has had just 300.2mm which is below the long-term yearly falls of 610.3.
Even with recent falls, Lithgow is significantly short of its average rainfall, at 570.2mm.
The long term average is 789.2mm.
Orange has also recorded well below average rainfall this year, with 519.0mm received compared to an average of 898.7mm.
Cowra has received 318.8mm which is down on the city’s average of 589.1mm; while Young had 348.8mm which was also down on the average of 635.5mm.
Meanwhile, even though Oberon has received the highest rainfall across the Central West this year with 843.8mm recorded, this was way down on the average of 1015.3mm.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s summer outlook has predicted a hotter than normal summer period.
Long-range forecaster Dr Andrew Watkins said the outlook showed most of the country had an 80 per cent chance of exceeding normal temperatures during the next three months.
“Summer in Australia typically brings hot temperatures for many communities and the outlook indicates this summer will be no different.”
Wednesday, December 5 is expected to bring a sprinkle of rain for Lithgow, but only about 1mm.