Storm clouds over Darwin. For the first time in nearly 60 years the Top End has recorded consecutive wet seasons with less than 1200mm of rain, as the official dry season begins today. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford
Storm clouds over Darwin. For the first time in nearly 60 years the Top End has recorded consecutive wet seasons with less than 1200mm of rain, as the official dry season begins today. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford

Wet season a damp squib as Dry gets underway

FOR the first time in nearly 60 years the Top End has recorded consecutive wet seasons with less than 1200mm of rain, as the official dry season begins today.

Figures from the Bureau of Meteorology revealed Darwin received only 70 per cent of its long-term average rainfall this wet season, or 1180mm compared to 1683mm average.

Rainfall for all Northern Australia (including northern parts of WA and QLD) was 19 per cent below average, the lowest since 2005.

It was a warmer than average wet season too.

Using Darwin Airport as an observation point, the average of all the maximum temperatures taken every day this wet season was 33.9C, higher than the long-term average of 32.5C.

The same was reflected in Katherine, with this wet season's average max temperature being 38C, considerably hotter than the long-term average of 35.3C and the previous record of 36.8C.

Some communities on the outskirts of Darwin were relying on a decent wet season to replenish the water table levels.

The NT experienced two tropical cyclones this season, Claudia and Esther, and one tropical low.

However, Angus Mitchell from M & S Mowing Plus said the dryness of the last two wet seasons meant fewer days off work due to rain.

But he said he would be thankful for less humid and more accommodating working conditions in the Dry.

"This last wet season hasn't impacted us at all, I think we only had two wet days that we couldn't work," he said.

"The last two wet seasons have been absolute killers, particularly this one now. It's been horrendous to work outside.

"It's quite a pleasant respite now."

Mr Mitchell said it would be a push for some in the agricultural sector to hold out until the next wet.

"I feel for people who have no irrigation and also rely on bore water this year, it's going to be very dry," he said.

Originally published as Wet season a damp squib for second year, as Dry gets underway



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