Drought-stricken Australia endures driest spring in 120 years of records

Record hot and dry conditions have hit many rural farming communities particularly hard with water supplies for some falling towards absolute zero and prompting strict regulations on water usage.
Record hot and dry conditions have hit many rural farming communities particularly hard with water supplies for some falling towards absolute zero and prompting strict regulations on water usage.PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (XINHUA) - Australia has clocked its driest spring in 120 years of recorded history, the country's Bureau of Meteorology revealed on Monday (Dec 2).

In its spring climate wrap-up, the Bureau said that the majority of Australia received rainfall which was well below average and that a number of recording stations, right across the country, observed their driest spring ever.

Spring 2019 was also Australia's fifth hottest on record with the highest temperature at 47.1 deg C, recorded in mid-November in Western Australia.

"Rainfall for spring was below very much below average for most of Australia, and overall it was Australia's driest spring on record," the report said.

"The prolonged abnormally low rainfall experienced over eastern Australia continues to have significant impact on communities and the environment."

Record hot and dry conditions have hit many rural farming communities particularly hard with water supplies for some falling towards absolute zero and prompting strict regulations on water usage.

Sydney's water supply dropped below 50 per cent earlier in the year and is on track to drop below 40 per cent early 2020, with New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian pre-emptively announcing more stringent controls on water.

The conditions have also made 2019 a particularly bad bush fire season thus far, with wildfires igniting large swathes of bush more ferociously than in years before.

"Extremely dry conditions and very much above average temperatures led to increased fire risk across New South Wales and Queensland during spring," the report said.

 

"Several large and dangerous fires have been burning in both states since early September, resulting in loss of both property and lives."