Farmer Les Jones on his property at Goolhi near Tamworth has lost the majority of his flock to the drought. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Farmer Les Jones on his property at Goolhi near Tamworth has lost the majority of his flock to the drought. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Drought-hit farmers to receive ‘substantial’ rain

DROUGHT ravaged towns across NSW can expect some welcome relief this weekend.

As much as 40mm of rain is expected between Friday and Sunday - with towns like Tamworth, Walgett, Narrabri, Dubbo, Orange and Coonamble all expected to receive the heaviest rainfall on Saturday.

Up to 40mm is also forecast to fall from Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay on Saturday alone.

This month is on track to be the driest August since 1995.

Lillie Jones with her dad Les after hay bales were trucked in from Victoria after members of the public donated to The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph’s drought appeal. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Lillie Jones with her dad Les after hay bales were trucked in from Victoria after members of the public donated to The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph’s drought appeal. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

The weather system will travel across the country from Western Australia and head straight into NSW, with Queensland, parts of Victoria and even Tasmania feeling the effects.

Sydney is expected to see between 12 and 37 mms of rain between Friday and Sunday.

 

An aerial view shows earth works in preparation for flood mitigation near the town of Whitecliffs. Picture: AAP
An aerial view shows earth works in preparation for flood mitigation near the town of Whitecliffs. Picture: AAP

 

Tamworth could receive between 15 to 25 mms on Saturday, while Walgett will be showered by up to 16 mms over Friday and Saturday.

Neighbouring Narrabri is set to be showered with between 15 and 30mms on Saturday and Coonamble could see up to 20mms.

 

On Saturday, Dubbo is expected to receive up to 20mms of rainfall, while Orange and Bathurst could both see highs of 10mms.

 

Farmer Jock McLaren with his 11-year-old daughter Mimi welcomed rain on their drought stricken property between Walcha and Tamworth earlier this month. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Farmer Jock McLaren with his 11-year-old daughter Mimi welcomed rain on their drought stricken property between Walcha and Tamworth earlier this month. Picture: Nathan Edwards

 

The forecast comes after 30,000 Muslims gathered in Lakemba on Tuesday to pray for rain, but a NSW Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said that, although welcome, the rainfall appeared "relatively ordinary."

"It's a pretty benign amount of rain numbers wise, but it is significant because lot of people have been waiting for it for so long," he said.

"These dry conditions have persisted for so long so that's why even moderate amounts will be significant - the timing is more significant than rainfall itself."

 

Animals have been perishing in the drought. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Animals have been perishing in the drought. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

 

While BOM experts are downplaying the significance of the rainfall, the measly 1.4mm of rain that has fallen in Sydney throughout August so far is a far cry from the usual average of about 55mms.

"This is the first significant rainfall of the month - and it might be the only one this month and in the near future especially heading into September which is the driest month," the BOM spokesman said.

"This August is approaching record-low numbers which could make it the driest August since 1995, where no rain fell at all."

 

How you can help with drought relief.
How you can help with drought relief.


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