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Fire Season Update, June 2024

Thursday, 27th June 2024

Fire Season Update, June 2024

This Autumn of 2024 was relatively typical for NSW, with most parts of the state seeing average to above average rainfall and a predicted normal fire potential across the state.

Forest and woodland fuel loadings show the burn scar from 2019-20 fire season is evident (particularly south of the Hunter) in decreased fuel loads along parts of the coast and ranges. However, fuel loads in these burn scars are recovering, particularly in the north, with some areas starting to recover to more than 16t/ha. ABARES reports above average summer rains have led to above normal pasture growth in most parts of NSW, with grass fuel loads remaining higher than normal for much of the state. Most of NSW currently has average to above normal soil moisture according to KBDI anomalies and Root Zone Soil Moisture with relatively drier areas located in the Eastern Riverina/Southern Slopes, and in pockets of the Far West.

Predicted rainfall for June to August 2024 shows there is a slightly increased chance of above median rainfall across the interior of NSW, tending to a fairly equal chance of above or below median rainfall in the east. Warmer than usual days are strongly favoured across the state (>80% chance of above median maximum temperatures), with increased chances of unusually warm conditions for some locations (amongst the highest 20% of records). Warmer than usual nights are strongly favoured for the state (>80% chance of above median maximum temperatures for most of the state).

The El Nino – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral. There are some early signs that La Nina might form in the Pacific Ocean later in 2024. As a result, the Bureau’s ENSO outlook has shifted to La Nina watch.

Overall NSW is predicted to see normal fire potential this Winter. This prediction is based on current conditions being generally wetter than normal, the winter outlook favouring median to above median rainfall for most of NSW. Finally, although it is unlikely to be influential this winter, it is worth noting that ahead of 24/25 Fire Season grass fuels remain higher than normal for most parts of the State.

Read more via the AFAC Winter Seasonal Outlook here:

BOM Long Range Forecast here:

Image: iamChristo(Flickr)

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