WELCOME rainfall in recent weeks has done little to change the conditions in most of NSW, with just 2 per cent moving out of drought.
The latest NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) seasonal update for September shows 98 per cent of the state remains in drought.
That includes the Armidale area, which is classified as in drought or intense drought; while further north, the Glen Innes and Tenterfield areas are described as being in weakening drought conditions.
Meanwhile, many parts of the New England North West region, such as the Tamworth and Narrabri areas, remain in intense drought.
However, a spokesman said conditions had improved in parts of coastal, eastern and central NSW, and most of the North Coast was now in the non-drought category.
DPI seasonal conditions monitoring manager Anthony Clark said September rainfall had been average to very much below average across most of NSW.
The east of the state received 100mm, but the west recorded nothing.
“While it is pleasing to see early signs of recovery in some areas, without follow-up rainfall it will take time before we see the benefits for some of our state’s primary producers,” Dr Clark said.
“This means producers in these areas will continue their on-ground drought management plans.
“Parts of the Central West and Central Tablelands regions received an early spring break, where areas around Parkes, Forbes, Coonamble, Wellington and east of Coonabarabran have retracted into the drought category.”
Dr Clark said that, early this month, welcome rainfall had fallen across a large area south and east of Broken Hill in the western region.
“The falls bring short-term relief to drought-affected areas, with substantially more rain needed to restore depleted soil moisture levels,” Dr Clark said.
The majority of NSW experienced average to above-average maximum temperatures during September with the north-east of the state experiencing above-average overnight temperatures.
The Bureau of Meteorology outlook for October to December indicates there is a 50 per cent chance of achieving medium rainfall, with a high probability of warm conditions.
The southern and western areas of the state will be drier than average.
The latest seasonal and support information is available on www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au
Primary producers are reminded they don’t need to be in a particular drought category to access assistance.