THE SEVERITY of the drought in NSW has been backed up in Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data that shows last month was the driest September on record in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB).
Many centres in the region recorded no rainfall for September at a time when falls are critical for crop development.
The data is compiled using an aggregation of rainfall data across the BOM’s network of weather stations and can be averaged out to a regional basis.
Worryingly, the record dry comes without a major climate driver pushing the weather towards drier conditions.
The El Niño / Southern Oscillation (ENSO) complex, a series of climatic factors generated in the Pacific Ocean, was in a neutral phase, as was the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD).
These two events can be major influences of weather through inland eastern Australia through the spring, however neither is behind the rainfall deficit this year.
Instead, researchers are investigating lesser known climate drivers such as the sub-tropical ridge (STR) as possible reasons the rain has failed to arrive.
The BOM reported the majority of Australia was below to very much below average over much of Australia for the month.
As a result of the lack of rainfall the BOM has noted serious to severe moisture deficiencies at the four month timescale across the majority of New South Wales.
Others areas suffering from deficits include parts of southern, central and east coast Queensland, a large area of central southern South Australia, coastal parts of northwest and northern Western Australia and the western Top End, eastern Victoria, and eastern coastal areas of Tasmania.