Dry times despite frosty winter chill

July 05, 2017

Rodney Booth's photo of the icy Tocumwal Golf Course

The Southern Riverina area has recorded its driest June in more than 30 years, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Tocumwal BoM site recorded just 1.8mm of rain for the first month of winter, the driest June the district has seen since 1984.

With an average rainfall of almost 45mm, Landmark Mills agronomist Doug McLean said the dry start to winter had been a cause for concern for a number of local producers.

‘‘We’re pretty lucky at the minute because crops have been holding on okay from the good (rain) break we had,’’ Mr McLean said.

‘‘The rainfall for April to May was quite reasonable, with about 40mm in April and 37mm in May.

‘‘This provided good moisture for sowing and post-sowing, but since that early growth, crops haven’t done much.

‘‘No rain in June and all the frosts we’re having is really slowing crop growth,’’ he said.

Mr McLean said farmers have found themselves in a holding pattern for rain.

‘‘Weather predictions say we’re in for about 5mm of rain at the end of this week,’’ he said.

‘‘At this point, it would be ideal for our region to receive our average July and spring rainfall.

‘‘Farmers are getting desperate for rain — some have even gone on holidays,’’ Mr McLean said.

The Tocumwal area also came within a whisker of breaking the lowest all-time recorded temperature for July, which was -4.3°C in 1982. In a chilly start to the month, Saturday recorded a low of -3.9°C.

The weather made for some difficult conditions at the weekend’s golf and football action, with local residents waking up to blankets of frost creating icy playing fields.

Tocumwal Golf Club professional and director of golf c.

‘‘It was the weekend of the Tocumwal Open tournament but play had to be delayed until the frost cleared, which happened around 9am,’’ Mr Booth said.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the Tocumwal and Finley districts can expect light showers throughout the remainder of the week, and a slightly warmer weekend with a low of 1°C forecast for Sunday.

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