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Dry June breaking winter records in Tasmania in contrast to 2016 deluge

By Carla Howarth, Tuesday July 4, 2017 - 07:43 EST

Parts of Tasmania have recorded their driest June on record, with no strong signs of above average rain for the coming months, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

Fingal received just 2 millimetres of rain last month, compared to its June average of more than 60mm.

The Bureau of Meteorology did not record rain in Hobart for the first 18 days of the month.

It was a different story last year when records were broken around the state because of unrelenting rain.

In the

The wettest part of the state, Mount Read, received a massive 2 metres. In the same period this year, it recorded about 840mm.

Climatologist Ian Barnes-Keoghan said it was a much different tale so far this winter with an exceptionally dry June across the state.

"Large parts of the state, certainly less than 5 millimetres, definitely less than 10 and Bicheno is the one that's managed to come in with 0.5 for the month," he said.

"We've seen records scattered right through the east coast and several places coming in less than a millimetre."

Mr Barnes-Keoghan said there were no signs of change.

"As we head into July, it looks like a continuation of this dry pattern is likely," he said.

Forecast creating anxiety for farmers

Tasmania's peak farming body said there was growing concern amongst farmers.

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association's president Wayne Johnston said farmers were being cautious.

There's certainly some concern that if we don't get some rainfall in the next one to two months it's going to put us in a very poor position coming into the spring time," he said.

"It's not only farming land that we need it to rain on. We need it to rain on our catchments so that we make sure that our dams and our storages are full.

"We don't want to go back into the situation where we were a couple of years ago where our storages were to a critical point."

Mr Johnston said some farmers were still irrigating around the state.

"They've planted crops and basically with not a lot of moisture they've been irrigating them up," he said.

"The problem with that is of course, when we have frosts like we have had this last two or three days, it certainly dries the top soil out so therefore, it's not as efficient when it would normally be in the normal spring and summer period when we irrigate."


© ABC 2017

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