Weather wreaking hot-house havoc

RAIN, baking heat, tempest and more rain... overall it wasn’t a typically hot summer on the Coffs Coast but it was a very wet one.

While the average temperature of 27 degrees was ideal for Terry Garcha’s hot-house hydroponic tomatoes, the dance between weather extremes was not.

“Tomatoes don’t like changes in weather. When it’s cold or if there are a few cloudy days the plants go soft and when it gets hot again the leaves burn,” Mr Garcha said.

“They are really fussy and the weather changed a lot this summer with different extremes.

“The hot box speeds growth up but we had too much rain this season and then on hot days the plants would suffer.”

Standing near the hot box where they’re grown you are nearly knocked over by the blazing gusts of air. It was 45 degrees inside yesterday and fans worked overtime to cool the tomatoes down.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s findings reflected Mr Garcha’s observations.

With 779.2mm rainfall recorded over the summer, it was the ninth wettest on record, seeing 10 rainy days above average.

Along with all that wet, there was a heatwave which broke the 1953 record, with seven days above 30 degrees from January 31 to February 6.

February saw the biggest daily drop in temperatures since 2009 with 33.7 degrees on February 6 (the hottest day this summer) down to 23.3 degrees on February 7. Despite a warm February it was the coolest summer in two years.

The outlook for autumn is for below average daytime temperatures, slightly above average rainfall and warm nights.

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