A weather bureau has issued an update on the drought situation in the Northern Territory, which is expected to worsen over the next few weeks, with the bureau predicting a further rise in rain and flooding.
Key points:The NT Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has released an updated drought mapThe NT Drought Management Board said rain and water will remain at around 70 per cent for the next several weeksThe NT Water Minister says the government will provide an update to the drought on TuesdayThe NT department of environment and heritage protection (DENP) released a map this week that showed a dramatic drop in rainfall in the region in recent weeks, and a large increase in drought.
The rainfall in recent days has been around 50mm, or 1.5 inches, the department said, with rainfalls down to less than 30mm in the past week.
The drought map also showed a significant increase in rainfall for parts of the NT, with more than half of the state’s area experiencing at least 1.25mm of rainfall in just the past 24 hours.
The department said the situation was worsening with the drought forecast to worsen further over the coming weeks, the bureau predicted.
“Rainfall and river flows in the NT will remain above 70 per day through the next two weeks with water supplies expected to remain at 80 per cent over the winter months,” DENP said.
“The dry season is likely to be the longest in NT history.”
Mr Waddell said the drought could have an impact on the tourism industry in the Territory.
“We’ve had the worst drought in the country in the last two decades, we’ve been expecting to have that drought for a few months now and it hasn’t happened,” he said.
The NT government said the rainfall would continue to fall, with at least 90 per cent of the Territory receiving rain in the next three weeks.
“This is the driest time of the year in the history of the Northern Territories,” DENPA chief executive officer Brian Hickey said.
He said the department had not yet released an update about the drought and the department was continuing to provide updates to the public.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there on the forecast,” Mr Hickey told the ABC.
“So if people are looking for a bit of comfort that the water’s coming through the soil and it’s not going to go through the ground, they’re going to be disappointed.”
People will need to be more vigilant.