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Experts say current drought could be the worst Australia has EVER experienced - but there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon

Ajewole Emmanuel

Nov. 29, 2019

Officials fear the drought plaguing Australia could be the worst ever experienced, as the parched land continues to suffer water shortages and bush fires.
But there could be hope on the horizon, with 'normal' conditions expected to finally return towards the end of the summer.
Australia is expected to endure a hotter than usual summer, with particularly dry conditions in the east, according to the Bureau of Meteorology's summer outlook.
And unfortunately for those already suffering the effects of the drought, these dry conditions are likely to continue throughout New South Wales, southern Queensland and eastern Victoria.
Andrew Watkins, head of long-range forecasts at BOM, told the ABC : 'The highest chances of it being drier than normal, unfortunately, are in those drought areas through central New South Wales, southern Queensland and eastern Victoria.'
He confirmed this spring could be the driest on record.
The BOM said climate influences, including a strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and negative Southern Annular Mode (SAM), will continue to influence the outlook.
Both influences are expected to progressively weaken mid-way through the summer, hopefully leading to more normal conditions.
But until then, the hot and dry conditions look likely to drag on into the summer for eastern Australia, but there could be more rainfall than usual for parts of the west coast.
Meanwhile temperatures are expected to be far above average for huge swathes of the country, with only Tasmania, south-west Victoria and parts of South Australia likely to escape hot nights.
But all of Australia will suffer with above average daytime temperatures.
According to BOM, all of Australia is highly likely to experience higher than average temperatures around Christmas time.
'We know that around 90 per cent of our streams and rivers are low at the moment, we know that many of our water catchments are below 50 per cent now,' Dr Watkins added.
'We are entering summer in a difficult position.'
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