Hot and dry january

JANUARY was hotter and drier than the corresponding month last year.

The official figures from the Bureau of Meteorology reveal that while 206.5mm of rain fell on Grafton in January 2008, this compared with 22.4mm in the January just past.

In January, Yamba got just a quarter of the rain of last year. It received 293.6mm in 2008 and 67.6mm in January 2009.

January temperatures were also substantially higher last month.

Grafton's hottest day in 2008 was 31.1C, compared with a high of 36.3C in 2009.

Yamba also presented a hotter January with a 2008 high of 28.5C and in 2009 a high of 31.6C.

While rain levels dropped and temperatures increased, the level of relative humidity decreased in Grafton and Yamba in January 2009.

A high of 99 per cent humidity was experienced in 2008 in Grafton, while a high of 93 per cent humidity featured in January 2009.

The average humidity for Grafton and Yamba also showed a considerable drop in January 2009.

Valley weather watcher Reg Bultitude said the main reason for the low rainfall and hotter temperatures was the lack of east coast lows experienced in the region.

“The Valley relies heavily upon east coast lows moving down from the system up north in order for rainfall to occur,” Mr Bultitude said.

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