Wetter autumn forecast for western NSW

Forecasts says parts of central, southern and western NSW may have above-average rainfall in autumn.
Forecasts says parts of central, southern and western NSW may have above-average rainfall in autumn.

Autumn in drought-stricken western NSW could be wetter than average while the rest of the state can expect mild conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology 2020 Autumn Outlook released on Thursday predicts daytime and overnight temperatures will likely be higher than average, with parts of western NSW expecting slightly wetter conditions.

Parts of central, southern and western NSW could also experience above-average rainfall during March.

Bureau climatologist Andrew Watkins says weather systems affecting the state are unlikely to favour wet or dry autumn conditions.

"We are looking at above average rainfall likely in March to start off Autumn but then easing back towards more neutral, average patterns over the remaining months of the season," Dr Watkins said in a statement.

Dr Watkins said the state's summer temperatures were two degrees warmer than average, with a record dry season recorded in December.

December was more than four degrees above the long-term monthly average.

Rainfall was below average in far west NSW, but above average in most coastal areas.

Dr Watkins described this Australian summer season as "the tale of two halves", both wet and dry.

"The rainfall helped contain many of the long-lived bushfires in the east and helped ease drought conditions in some locations," he said.

"But many inland regions experienced only patchy rainfall and we still need to see sustained rainfall to relieve drought in many areas."

Australian Associated Press