Warmer winter

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The Great Southern is expected to have a drier and warmer than average winter.

That could be worrying for some farmers in the region already struggling with dry conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s winter outlook forecasts that it is “very likely” that Albany’s winter rainfall will stay below the median of 345mm. Albany has received 124.5mm to date for autumn and just over 140mm for 2019.

The bureau says it is also “very likely” that Albany will have a median winter maximum temperature above the median of 16.4C.

BOM spokesperson Neil Bennett said Albany was already off to a dry start for the year and had received less than half of its normal rainfall for May. “We don’t want to paint doom and gloom but the outlook does suggest it will be drier than average,” Mr Bennett said.

“It has been dry to begin with. That’s one of the things that is different to previous seasons — it is going to be dry going into winter and perhaps the subsoil moisture isn’t as good as it has been.”

The annual average rainfall for the Albany Airport weather station is 798.1mm.

Last year Albany received its lowest recorded rainfall total of 589.8mm.

Most of WA is expected to have a warmer than average winter but only parts of the South West and east of the State have been forecast to be drier than usual.

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