The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is forecasting much needed rain across the majority of the country this week, as Australia continues to suffer through one of the worst drought’s on record and a devastating bushfire season.
The news of rain comes as welcome relief for firefighters across much of NSW with over 100 fires still burning across the state. Five fires are still at a Watch and Act level in Victoria with easing conditions expected to help firefighters currently battling huge bushfires in East Gippsland and the Alpine region.
Fire continues to impact South Australia’s Kangaroo Island where so far 210,000 has been burnt inside a perimeter of 500kms.
Unfortunately South Australia and Western Australia are expected to miss out on this weeks rainfall. However, Tropical Cyclone Claudia, currently spinning off the coast of WA, might bring another batch of rain.
Farmers on the east coast of Australia are rejoicing at the news of rain as many continue to grapple with ongoing and unprecedented drought conditions.
According to the BoM, the most rainfall is likely to fall in NSW’s northwest, while the fire-devastated NSW south coast is expected to receive a wonderful 25mm on Thursday.
The rain comes following the movement of a monsoon trough off the coast of the Northern Territory with much of the tropical north having enjoyed a downpour of rain over the past week.
BoM extreme weather forecaster Sarah Scully said the monsoon had seen welcomed moisture return to mainland Australia and, depending on the severity of predicted thunderstorms, could see a significant ease of fire conditions.
“As well as that, over eastern Australia we’ve had a high-pressure system that’s been sitting in the Tasman Sea,” Ms Scully said.
“That’s been directing a moist onshore flow over the eastern part of Australia over the last few days.
“The best-case scenario, with the ongoing showers and storms from Wednesday onwards, is that they can really impact and help to extinguish some of the fires.”
There are some concerns that the rain will come as a double-edged sword with fears of contaminated runoff and the potential for fire-stricken trees to fall in fire grounds, some rain is better than no rain.
Many farmers across Australia are coming off an already dire 2019 with the predicted rainfall providing some much-needed positive news.
National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson said that the predicted rainfall was promising after what had a been an extremely difficult 2019 for many farmers and rural and regional communities.
“Last year was really tough with an escalation in the long-running drought bookended by devastating fires,” Ms Simson said.
“The recent predictions for rainfall across the country are certainly not ‘drought breaking’ but it should provide some much-needed rain for drought-stricken farmers and the firies still battling blazes,” Ms Simson said.