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Welcome weekend rain in western NSW

Ben Domensino, Monday November 4, 2019 - 09:52 EDT


The best rain in more than six months fell over parts of western NSW on the weekend.

A low pressure trough interacting with a mass of moisture-laden air produced rain and thunderstorms across a large swath of western NSW on Saturday and Sunday.

This system delivered the most widespread rain in around six months, although some places had their best drop in several years on the weekend.

Bourke Airport's 95mm of rain during the 48 hours to 9am on Monday was their best two-day total since 2012. Further west, White Cliffs received 27mm during the 24 hours to 9am on Monday, their highest daily total in two years. 

The best rain for many parts of western NSW fell during the 24 hours to 9am on Monday. Walgett's 50mm in this time was their heaviest fall in one and a half years, while Coonamble (44mm), Cobar (24mm), Wilcannia (26mm), Cowra (15mm), Scone (24mm) and Dubbo (13mm) all had their best daily rain in 6-8 months.

Showers and thunderstorms will continue to affect parts of NSW on Monday and Tuesday as an upper-level trough passes over southeastern Australia. However, falls from this system won't be as heavy or widespread as the weekend's rain. 

Image: Cloud blanketing NSW on Sunday as rain and thunderstorms spread across the drought-weary state.

While this rain provided a welcome break from the drought in parts of western NSW, it wasn't enough to make up for the large rainfall deficiencies that have built up in recent months and years.

Dubbo's 13mm from the weekend brings their running annual total to 257mm. This is well below their average January to November total of 528mm, based on data from the last 25 years.

As of 9am on Sunday, some parts of NSW were running more than 400mm behind their long-term average rainfall totals for the year-to-date. It's likely it will take more than one rain-bearing system to make up for these deficits.

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