El Nino on the way

PICTURE PERFECT: Chiara Zanatta, 22 months, has a great time playing among the autumn leaves. Picture: Anthony Stipo

PICTURE PERFECT: Chiara Zanatta, 22 months, has a great time playing among the autumn leaves. Picture: Anthony Stipo

THE sun is shining on Griffith, but what does it mean for the region's farmers?

Conditions have been glorious over the past week and that will continue into next week.

However, as winter approaches, an El Nino weather alert has been issued. This unique weather pattern could lead to less rainfall and a minor temperature rise in south-east NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) data indicates there is a high chance of an El Nino occurring this winter.

It could come into play as early as July. However, Barellan farmer David Smith believes it's not all doom and gloom.

Mr Smith said he was "cautiously optimistic" that an El Nino wouldn't have as big effect as predicted.

He said the region's farmers were well prepared for the crop season after a good amount of rainfall in March and April.

"I'm a glass half-full man," Mr Smith said with a laugh.

"But we need more rain by early June to keep ticking along."

Mr Smith said El Nino conditions didn't always lead to drier conditions.

"It doesn't always happen, but it typically does," he said.

Technical officer at BOM's Wagga office Nigel Smedley said there was a 70 per cent chance of El Nino activity.

An El Nino leads to fluctuating weather in various regions of the world, ranging from droughts through to floods.

Mr Smedley said the pattern could occur because the Pacific Ocean had warmed steadily in recent months.

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