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Rain returning to parched Murray-Darling Basin

Ben Domensino, Wednesday October 4, 2017 - 12:18 EDT

Rain is likely to affect around 80 per cent of Australia during the next week as October starts to make up for a record-dry start to spring in the Murray-Darling Basin.

The impending rainfall will help quench thirsty soil in parts of the country that have just endured a record-breaking string of dry months.

A Drought Statement released by the Bureau of Meteorology today highlights that severe rainfall deficiencies have arisen in and around the Murray-Darling Basin during the last four months.

This prolonged depletion of soil moisture was caused by a combination of below average rainfall since the start of winter and unusually high daytime temperatures, which have increased evaporation rates in recent months.

Both NSW and the Murray-Darling Basin just experienced their driest September on record and driest winter in 15 years. Last month was also the driest September on record for some inland areas of South Australia and the driest in 14 years for Queensland.

In terms of maximum temperatures, winter ranked among the top three warmest on record for Queensland, NSW, SA and Australia as a whole, while September was the 2nd warmest on record in Queensland and the 6th warmest for NSW.

Looking ahead, rain and thunderstorms will become more widespread across Australia during the next week as a series of low pressure troughs sweep across the country. While this type of rainfall event is not uncommon during spring, it is something that we have not seen so far this season.

Parts of every state and territory will pick up some rain during the next week, including parched areas in the nation's east and southeast.

Large swathes of the Murray-Darling Basin should receive 5-15mm of rain by the middle of next week, with most of this falling on Sunday and Monday.

The impending rainfall will be accompanied by thunderstorms in many areas and some of these are likely to become severe.

While some areas may see enough rain to produce flash flooding during the next week - most likely with storms - others will, unfortunately, miss out on significant rainfall.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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