'It's as good as it gets': La Nina prediction welcome to farmers as spring rain boosts confidence

La Nina prediction welcome to south-west farmers as spring rain boosts confidence

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The BoM says the La Nina may not bring a lot more rain.

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WELCOME RAIN: Garvoc dairy farmer Joey Conheady says the season is shaping up to be the best he's seen since entering dairying in 2011.

WELCOME RAIN: Garvoc dairy farmer Joey Conheady says the season is shaping up to be the best he's seen since entering dairying in 2011.

A WET outlook for the south-west is expected over spring as the Bureau of Meteorology declared La Nina has developed in the Pacific Ocean.

La Nina typically results in above-average spring rainfall for Australia, particularly across eastern, central and northern regions. It can also mean cooler days, more tropical cyclones, and an earlier onset of the first rains of the wet season across the north.

The prediction is welcome to south-west farmers, who had a slightly drier-than-average winter, and see the potential for higher rainfall as a boost to a season now shaping up well.

Dairy farmer Joey Conheady, who milks 610 cows at Garvoc, said he had been "thrilled" with the rain so far this spring.

"We will never complain about having rain," he said. "We are wet at the moment and if that keeps us pushing in to summer, at the end of day rain is rain, it's money into the Warrnambool economy and that's magnificent."

But Mr Conheady said he was also wary of weather predictions.

"Forecasts are great and we take that on board, but also in the last couple of years we were forecast for a dry spring and then had a lot of rain," he said.

Cobden's Craig Dwyer echoed the sentiment, saying the past winter "couldn't have been any better".

"It's as good as it gets," Mr Dwyer said. "It was drier, we got an early break, then a dry winter then a wet tail end of August."

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Jonathan Pollock said La Nina effects may not be felt as strongly in south-west Victoria.

"We are expecting an above average rainfall for northern and central Victoria, there's a more than 80 per cent chance of this," he said.

"But those strong chances don't necessarily extend to south-west.

"We still expected a wet outlook for Warrnambool, but chances of flooding aren't as high as central Victoria."

Mr Pollock expects the temperature to rise across Australia.

"Along the coast, there will be a warmer than normal day time until December and night time, for most the country, will also have warmer temperatures."

Dr Andrew Watkins

The Bureau''s Climate Operations manager Dr Andrew Watkins said south-eastern Australia may get more rainfall into the summer months.

"This can wet up the soils and make the chance of widespread flooding," he said.

"Typically, (there will be) more rainfall, wetter soils, higher rivers, more water going into our storages as well which is a good thing in many areas.

"It reduces the risk of getting those really extreme heat waves, but unfortunately, the heat waves we do get tend to be longer in duration and could be more humid.

"In terms of fires, it reduces the fire risk a little, but of course, south-eastern Australia, one of the most fire-prone in the world, we're not going to get through a summer without seeing any fires."

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The story 'It's as good as it gets': La Nina prediction welcome to farmers as spring rain boosts confidence first appeared on The Standard.

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