Coffs Coast's wet end to 2010

WITH the ongoing grey days, feelings of cabin fever and disaster-scale flooding, you would think 2010 was among the wettest on record.

However, the latest figures create a different picture, a picture much brighter and shinier than our memories permit.

The city’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) station, based at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport, recorded 1986mm of rainfall last year, which was 306.6mm or 18 per cent above the long-term average.

The figure, however, is way down on the all-time total of 3375.7mm, recorded at the Post Office in 1950, the year a cyclone lashed the city.

Gumboots, raincoats and umbrellas became extensions of the body in 2009, in which 2733mm rain fell, nearly 40 per cent more than last year.

Coffs Harbour BOM duty observer, Roger Brown, said a dry start to the year affected 2010’s overall rainfall figures.

“Although 2010 was slightly above average rainfall, aside from February, the first six months were very dry,” he said.

“The last three months – October, November and December – were well above average, taking the total rainfall figure up.”

December had 395.4mm compared to 136mm in 2009.

It may be the late year string of deluges has us feeling soggier than usual.

Mr Brown said that a combination of weather patterns was behind all the rain which satu- rated the end of 2010.

“A high on the Tasman Sea is creating moist onshore streams. This is coupled with troughs extending down the tropics to north-east New South Wales,” Mr Brown said.

“While both scenarios bring rain, together they bring lots of rain. They have been slow moving, hanging about for extended periods,” he said.

These factors are intensified by a La Nina pattern which is the result extensive cooling off of the Pacific Ocean, increasing the likelihood of wet conditions until March at least.

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