Storm clouds gathered over Goonellabah near Lismore at the beginning of the storm season.
Storm clouds gathered over Goonellabah near Lismore at the beginning of the storm season. Marc Stapelberg

When the bloody hell is it going to rain again?

WITH back-to-back scorching days, clear skies, sad looking gardens and rapidly depleting tanks, Northern Rivers residents are asking: when the bloody hell will it rain again?

With just four days to go in January, it's shaping up to the be driest on record for the region, and the driest in 16 years for most towns.

Coastal towns Byron Bay and Ballina will have to receive about 30mm of rain over the next few days to avoid breaking the record.

Weather Zone statistics reveal the driest January on record:

Lismore received 12mm in 2003 but so far 2019 has only brought 3.2mm.

Casino's lowest January rainfall was 20mm in 2003 but only 1mm has fallen so far this month (opened 1994).

Byron Bay's driest was 31mm in 2003 but 2019 is on track to take over with just 1.8mm so far (opened 1994).

Ballina only received 36.2mm in 2003, but that fares much better than the 2.4mm for 2019.

Kyogle got 20.0mm in 2003, and so far there's been 1mm for 2019.

The last decent storm which brought rainfall was in mid December, and forecasts don't look promising.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rebecca Farr said the lack of rain was "quite unusual" for January.

"We've had a high pressure ridge over the Tasman Sea which has been keeping weather patterns extremely stable," Ms Farr said.

"It's been the same weather pattern for weeks and weeks which has been bringing north to north-easterly winds to the region.

"We haven't been seeing any significant southerly change systems to bring rainfall with them."

She said for tomorrow and Wednesday there was a slight chance of a shower but it will only be a drizzle with less than 1mm expected.

"At this stage we're not seeing significant change in the weather pattern so unfortunately we are expecting more of the same weather.

"Looking into next week we do have a weak southerly change coming through which could bring showers through late in the week but sadly no significant measurements and still a bit of uncertainty."

BoM is forecasting a medium chance shower or two on Saturday with up to 5mm.


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