Rainfall in the last two weeks has seen Forbes record three times its normal rainfall for January, while the month as a whole recorded average temperatures, the Bureau of Meteorology has said. Forbes Airport, where official weather recordings are taken for the town, received 81.4mm of rain, with the average over the last 20 years since the Airport readings were first launched being just 29.2mm.
The month started with two heat waves within the first two weeks, but ended with wetter and cooler conditions in the last fortnight. BOM climatologist Aga Turkey said while the month’s weather was variable it was not unusual.
“It was quite variable. Some of these events were quite significant, but when we compare it to the climate record, it’s not particularly record breaking.” Forbes had a daily average temperature of around 33 degrees, just short of the historical average of around 34 degrees, with the hottest day being 43 degrees on January 13.
Overnight lows stayed right on average at 18 degrees, while the wettest day in town was January 23 when 31.4mm fell. The current El Nino weather pattern, which normally brings warmer and drier conditions but can still cause rain events, is expected to persist through February before declining in early autumn, Ms Turkey said.
She added we could see more rain events as El Nino begins to decline, with neutral weather patterns expected to follow for the rest of the year, bringing good news to local farmers.
“When we have a break down of an El Nino, it’s not unusual for parts of Australia to get some good falls,” she said.
“Our climate outlook for the next three months is for wetter conditions for Central West NSW.”