The West

Outlook bleak after dry winter
Outlook bleak after dry winter

Manjimup is experiencing its second driest and second warmest year in recorded history.

Bureau of Meteorology Perth Climate and Weather information officer John Relf said in the first 10 months of the year Manjimup has received just 553mm of rain, compared to the average since 1916 of 932.2mm.

He said that was barely ahead of the lowest recorded 12-month rainfall period of 549mm which occurred in 2010.

“Unless Manjimup gets some substantial rainfall in the next six weeks the outlook for the year is pretty bleak,” he said, while noting rain was predicted for this Sunday and Monday.

“The average was brought down by an extremely dry June and July.

In July Manjimup only received 42mm compared to the average of 175.9mm.”

Mr Relf said the average temperature for the same 10-month period was the second warmest on record, behind the 21.6C achieved just last year.

Manjimup has averaged 21.5C in 2012, compared to the average of 19.6C, a difference Mr Relf called very warm.

“Due to the lack of rain it has been quite warm throughout the year,” he said.

“You really needed to get that rainfall in June and July.”

Bureau meteorologist Patrick Ward said while the low rainfall and high temperatures could be attributed in part to natural weather cycles, they typically only lasted between 30 and 35 years, whereas the current pattern has now been noted for closer to 50 years.

“We are seeing a drying trend in the region since the 1960s, so part of that can certainly be attributed to the anthropogenic or human induced changes in weather,” Mr Ward said.

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