As the 2019–2020 summertime brought record heat to Australia, New South Wales seemed heading into its 3rd year of serious dry spell. From January 2017 through October 2019, the southeast Australian state experienced its most affordable quantity of rains in almost a century. During that time, farmlands were parched, lakes dried up, and countless fish passed away.
After more than 34 successive months of dry conditions, consistent and sometimes heavy rain lastly got here in New South Wales. From January to May 2020, southeastern Australia got above-average rains and even broke records in Victoria. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), April and May 2020 was the very first duration considering that 2016 with near typical rains in New South Wales and the Murray–Darling Basin. The BOM anticipates the upcoming winter season (June to August) will likewise be wetter than average for western New South Wales and parts of South Australia.
The natural-color images above (leading) reveal the greening of the landscape in southeastern Australia in June 2020 (right) compared to May 2018 (left). The images were gotten by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
The map listed below programs Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) abnormalities; NDVI is a procedure of the “greenness” of greenery. The map portrays the health and abundance of greenery as observed from May 16 to June 14, 2020, compared to the long-lasting average (2000-2010) for the month. Brown locations reveal where plants were more stressed out than regular, and greens suggest greenery that was healthier than regular.
Victoria likewise experienced record-breaking rain at the start of 2020. From January to April, Melbourne got around 400 millimeters (16 inches) of rain—almost 8 times more rains than in 2015 throughout this time duration. This is Melbourne’s wettest start of the year considering that 1924. The BOM anticipates Victoria might experience drier than regular weather condition for the upcoming winter season though.
The damp start to 2020 has actually reduced short-term water shortages in eastern Australia and assisted offer a much better start to the winter season farming season. However, the rains has actually not yet made up for the impacts of the long-lasting dry spell, which is still apparent in the Murray-Darling Basin. The current rain has actually enhanced water circulation in the location, however storage levels are still really low. The BOM mentioned that it will take numerous substantial rains occasions to remove the long-lasting rain shortages throughout the area.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, utilizing MODIS information from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.