Good rain is tipped to get even better

By James Bennett

It was a chilly start to winter last week, with rain falling across the region.

And it could be a sign of things to come, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a wetter-than-average winter.

The bureau's manager of long-range forecasts, Dr Andrew Watkins, said there were only a few areas across the country that weren't looking at a wetter-than-average winter.

“Most areas of mainland Australia are showing a better than 70 per cent chance of having a wetter-than-average winter,” Dr Watkins said.

“Areas with a higher chance of above average rainfall are also looking at increased chances of cooler-than-average days because they are more likely to have cloud cover and more evaporative cooling in the coming months.

“Conversely, it means our nights are more likely to be warmer than average, because that cloud cover will prevent heat from escaping during the evenings.”

Echuca had its wettest autumn in 46 years with a total of 219 mm of rain falling in the three months, more than double the average.

Shepparton received 38 mm of rain in May, beating the 34.3 mm average thanks to two decent days near the end of the month.

Shepparton has also smashed its five-month average of 36.4 mm, with well-above-average rainfall in January and April bringing it to 47.1 mm.

Mooroopna and Tatura, on the other hand, both fell short of their May average rainfall.

Mooroopna had 38 mm of rain, falling about 5 mm short of its average, while Tatura has a little more rain at 38.8 mm for May.

Kyabram received 35 mm of rain for May after a dry ending to the month that produced just 1.4 mm in in the final 10 days. This is 7.3 mm below Kyabram’s average for May.

But Kyabram is still well on track to reach its annual average rainfall of 450 mm with 315 mm already being recorded, including well-above-average falls in January (74 mm) and April (122 mm).

At the same time last year only 108 mm had been recorded for the first five months.