Wyangala Dam a popular spot over summer

Relief at Wyangala.
Relief at Wyangala.

Plenty of residents headed for water this past summer and Wyangala Dam was a popular destination, according to figures from Reflections Holiday Parks.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology summer 2017–18 in New South Wales was the fourth-warmest on record, with warmer than average temperatures throughout the State, including Canowndra.

With the mercury rising so to did visitation to Wyangala Dam.

Between November 1 and January 31, 405 car entries were recorded at the State park compared to 290 car entry payments during the same period in 2016-2017.

This was on top of season passes which also saw an increase from 148 sold in 2016-2017 to 176 this summer.

A spokesperson for Reflections said bookings at the park totalled 1562 which was on par with the previous summer.

Rainfall totals were below average across most of the northern half of the State, but were average to above average in southern areas due to heavy rains in December.

Overall, it was the State's fourth-warmest summer on record.

The State's mean maximum temperature was 2.46 °C warmer than average, ranking as the fourth-warmest on record.

Daytime temperatures were more than 3 °C above average in the Upper Western District and parts of the Central region.

Heatwaves in December and January resulted in several sites having their warmest summer night (highest daily minimum temperature) on record.

Two sites had their highest summer mean temperature since 1980.

Autumn began on Thursday and that means cooler temperatures and some rain, doesn’t it?

Not quite, according to the latest climate outlook released by the Bureau.

The autumn rainfall outlook, issued on Wednesday last week, shows large parts of central and southeastern Australia are likely to have a drier-than-average season.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s analysis showed February was drier than average but only just thanks the deluge Canowindra and many other centres received in the final week of the month which saw the total reach 51.8mm compared to the 20 year average of 55.3mm.

Temperatures weren’t too far off averages: the average maximum was 32.6, above a long-term average of 31.6, but our hottest day was 41.4.

Our coolest February morning was 10.6 degrees. But we must have had more of those cool mornings as our average low was 16.0 degrees, below the long-term average of 16.2.

New South Wales farmer confidence has ‘wilted’ over the course of the hot, dry summer, with sentiment levels taking a hit in Rabobank’s latest Rural Confidence Survey, released this week.