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By Sallese Gibson, 31 Aug 2015, 7:25 AM UTC

Tasmania's winter coldest in nearly 50 years, Bureau of Meteorology says

Tasmania's winter coldest in nearly 50 years, Bureau of Meteorology says
Source: Audience submitted
The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed what many Tasmanians already suspected, it has been the coldest winter in nearly 50 years. With winter coming to a close officially ahead of the first day of spring on Tuesday, the bureau's Debbie Tabor revealed it was the sixth coldest winter on record. "It's been below average temperature and rainfall for Tasmania during this winter," she said. "Preliminary analysis is all indicating that it's the sixth coolest on record, that's resulting in the coolest winter since 1966." Heavy snow in August reached sea level for only the seventh time since 1986. The dump in early August closed several schools and roads and stranded people in their cars. Snow fell again in late August again closing roads and creating traffic chaos. The snow was a welcome boost for the ski season at Mount Field and Ben Lomond but made it . Debbie Tabor said the winter had also been dry, particularly across the state's north. "We've had several places in terms of the rainfall across the northern half of Tasmania that's been below average and very much below average in the north-east, but some central and southern parts of the state have seen totals closer to average for the season," she said. "Burnie and Deloraine have had around 100 millimetres below average, Launceston and Devonport around 80 below, Smithton 50 below, Bicheno 60 millimetres below, St Marys - quite a lot, 150 millimetres below." "[It's been] a little bit less so at places like Ross and Hobart that have been 30 millimetres below the winter average and Bushy Park and Ouse have been close to average." Low rainfall affecting dam levels Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association president Wayne Johnston said the dry conditions were affecting farmers across Tasmania. "There's isolated pockets around the state that are certainly getting more than their average rainfall but across the board I'm hearing that down towards the Midlands and towards the east coast they haven't been getting any run off at all," he said. "It's a fickle business this weather business so we'll just have to wait and see." He said some farmers were having to rethink their plans. "It all comes into the planning part, especially when you're cropping and you haven't got the dams as full as you'd like them to be," Mr Johnston said. "You've got to start thinking 'well how much water am I going to use on particular crops?' and 'can I actually afford to put those particular crops in?'" "It's not doom and gloom by any means, it's just a watching brief I suppose. "You've just got to plan for these events and we do that regularly. We look and we can change at the drop of the hat with the crops we put in."
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