Farmers' Weekly: wetter than average June but spring looks dry

BALLARAT has enjoyed a wetter than average winter to date but farmers should brace themselves for a warm, dry spring.

The region recorded 84mm of rain for June, compared with a long term average of 63mm.

It was also a wetter June than last year when just 49mm fell at Ballarat Airport.

Weatherzone meteorologist Ben McBurney said the weather around Ballarat was indeed wetter than average, although perhaps not as wet as it might have felt.

"It is not significantly above average but it was above average," Mr McBurney said.

"It would have felt wet because we had rain falling on 21 days of the month.

"The next week's forecast also looks damp. We have a series of cold fronts coming through.

"The first front is quite cold, particularly on Wednesday. It is looking like one of our coldest days for the year.

"There will be easing of conditions on Thursday but another cold front will come through Friday and Saturday and we could pick up about 10mm."

Mr McBurney said next week did not look as promising for those wanting more rain.

"It will be cold but fine," he said. "We will have some sunny days and a run of very cold nights."

The longer term prospects for weather in region appear grim. Mr McBurney said the development of an El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean.

"Spring is not looking great for the Ballarat region," he said. "There is a good chance of El Nino event occurring and that is usually associated with below average rainfall in south-eastern Australia.

"Unfortunately it looks like below average to well below average rainfall in spring and higher temperatures. It is also not good news in terms of potential bushfires."

Weatherzone is Australia's largest private weather company.