Rainfall in Esperance at record low

Figures show that Esperance received just 453mm of rainfall last year, the third lowest annual total recorded since observations commenced in 1968. Photo: Shutterstock.
Figures show that Esperance received just 453mm of rainfall last year, the third lowest annual total recorded since observations commenced in 1968. Photo: Shutterstock.

The latest figures from the Bureau of Meteorology have revealed that Esperance experienced one of its driest years on record in 2019.

Figures show that Esperance received just 453mm of rainfall last year, the third lowest annual total recorded since observations commenced in 1968.

The rainfall total is 27 per cent below average, beaten only by the 404mm recorded in 1994 and 448mm recorded in 2002.

The region experienced a particularly dry end to the year, with December's total rainfall sitting at 4.2mm - 79 per cent below average.

The record low would come as little surprise to farmers in the region, many of which have experienced livestock water supply shortages and have been forced to draw from off-farm supplies.

In December, the state government declared water deficiencies in Grass Patch and Jerramungup, just six months after the state government agreed to transport water to Mallee Hill and Mount Short in Ravensthorpe.

However, things are expected to improve in the month of January, with the bureau predicting that there is a 65 per cent chance rainfall will be above the median of 11mm.

Both tourists and locals alike were treated to warm weather throughout the month of December, with maximum temperatures averaging 27.7°C - more than 3°C above average.

That trend is set to continue into the month of January, with the bureau confirming it is likely that Esperance will experience above median daytime temperatures of 26°C.

The warmer than average overnight temperatures experienced in December are likely to continue as well, with an 88 per cent chance of above median overnight temperatures of 15° during January.

The positive Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode are understood to have weakened, with most climate influences now neutral.

The bureau confirmed the climate patterns being experienced across Australia were being influenced by the long-term increasing trend in global air and ocean temperatures.