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Rain returning to NSW in October

Ben Domensino, Wednesday October 17, 2018 - 10:18 EDT

There has been a remarkable change in the weather across NSW during October, with some drought-weary areas of the state receiving their heaviest rain so far this year.

The weather in NSW during the last couple of weeks has been influenced by near-stationary high pressure systems positioned near New Zealand. These highs have caused air to flow across the Tasman Sea, transporting moisture-laden air over Australia's eastern states. The East Australian Current has also injected warmer than usual water into the Tasman Sea this month, which has further contributed to rainfall over NSW.

As a result, large areas of eastern NSW and parts of central and western NSW have already exceeded their monthly average rainfall totals for October.

Ivanhoe Airport's running October total was 65mm as of 9am on Wednesday, which is around two times its long-term monthly average at this time of year. It's also close to the 67mm Ivanhoe received during the first nine months of 2018.

Mount Seaview's 309mm of rain during the first 17 days of this month is more than double its long-term average for October.

In the state's far west, Bourke's 26mm of rain during the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday was its heaviest daily total so far this year and a month's worth of rain for this time of year.

October to date has been a stark contrast to recent months in NSW. Most of the state's west received less than 60 per cent of its average September rainfall, while NSW as a whole registered its eighth driest winter on record.

However, while this month's rain has been welcome for thirsty soil across the state, it hasn't been enough to break the drought. Persistent above-average rain for a number of months is needed to reduce the rainfall deficiencies that have developed in western NSW during 2018.

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