Rainfall which many farmers wish to arrive by Anzac Day is a bit late
but given recent decent falls in southeastern Australia, the coming
rain is as good as on time.
Anzac Day is seen by winter cropping farmers as the deadline for the
first soaking falls of the season and for Western Australia the timing
After a drier-than-normal start to autumn Saturday 26th of April saw
widespread 15-to-30 millimetres fall across the South West Land
Division, the heaviest since spring for most centres. Some places
including Geraldton and Morawa saw their biggest falls in about two
years, picking up 37mm each.
The low pressure trough which helped deliver this rain is weakening
but strong cold fronts are about latch onto moisture from the Indian
and Southern oceans to deliver big falls to southeastern states.
Moisture levels over these oceans are higher than normal given sea
surface temperatures are about a degree warmer than typical for this
time of year.
Virtually all cropping areas in South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria
and New South Wales can expect to gain widespread 15-to-30mm between
Tuesday and Sunday.
The wettest areas look like being in western and northern Tasmania,
far southern SA and southwestern Victoria where more than 60mm is a
fair chance, most falling on Tuesday and Friday.
Rainfall of this magnitude is close to ideal at a time of year when
recently-sewn winter crops are waiting for a good soaking.
The down side of all of this rain is potentially damaging winds. The
rain-delivering frontal systems will also generate wind gusts of 50-
to-80km/h across a large area with potential stronger winds in the
wetter places, a recipe for fallen trees.
Rain, wind and colder air also means a period of high wind chill, most
notably late in the week when a strong front rears up from the
Southern Ocean. This system has potential to bring hail, snow and wind
chill in the single figures.
© Weatherzone 2014
23:48 EST The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has begun a cash-for-work scheme to provide immediate assistance for people worst-affected by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.