Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Jane delivers personal forecast for irrigators

Meteorologist Jane Bunn shared a special weather forest with Deniliquin on Monday

CASS SAVELLIS September 5, 2014 3:10am

West Berriquin Irrigators Inc members were treated to a special weather forecast from celebrity meteorologist Jane Bunn on Monday night.

More than 60 people gathered at the Sportsman’s Arms Hotel in Deniliquin to hear the former WIN News weather presenter discuss weather patterns and forecasts for the Riverina.

Ms Bunn, who has a graduate diploma in meteorology, talked about how wet weather arises, the difference between forecasts of ‘showers’ and ‘rain’ and what our region can expect in the future.

‘‘This has been the driest non El Niño August in Australia,’’ she said.

‘‘If it has been a really dry period, rain evaporates before it hits the ground.

‘‘We need a high dew point (moisture in the air) and instability working together to receive the rain this area needs.’’

Ms Bunn, who spoke for about an hour, said while weather can only be forecasted on a short-term basis, irrigators should look to ocean temperatures to determine the long-term rain forecast.

‘‘High and low pressure systems can only be determined about five days out,’’ she said.

‘‘But long-term forecasts are based on temperatures of the surrounding oceans – we want the warmth of the Indian Ocean to create a tropical climate that will bring moisture and rain down to this region.

‘‘When rain comes from cooler waters it’s more likely to bring hit-and-miss showers as there’s not enough moisture in the air.

‘‘My personal forecast is that El Niño won’t develop this spring but there may be a small chance of it occurring in summer.’’

West Berriquin chair Vicki Meyer said the feedback had been encouraging to continue a professional contact with Ms Bunn.

‘‘Jane’s knowledge and presentation was one of the best we have ever encountered,’’ she said.

‘‘The research she undertakes is qualified and detailed ... she prepares her own weather report for both TV and her website.

‘‘Jane had the audience fully engaged throughout her hour-long presentation. She fielded questions from the audience and has a great sense of humour that was well received.

‘‘It was a dream night for the West Berriquin irrigators — there was rain on the roof, dams filling, allocations increasing and we had Jane in person to present our local weather.’’

~ Cass Savellis

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