Interannual variability in rainfall and wet spell frequency during the New South Wales sugarcane harvest season

Everingham, Yvette L., and Reason, C.J.C. (2011) Interannual variability in rainfall and wet spell frequency during the New South Wales sugarcane harvest season. International Journal of Climatology, 31 (1). pp. 144-152.

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Abstract

The sugarcane harvest season in northern New South Wales (NSW), Australia operates from June to November. Rainfall during this period can delay harvest practices and push the harvest window into the wetter summer period which can have severe economic consequences for industry. Farmer groups acknowledge that, whilst information about seasonal rainfall totals can assist forward planning activities impacted by harvest rainfall, knowledge about the number of wet spells during the harvest season would also be helpful. This diagnostic study investigated the interaction between harvest rainfall totals and wet spell frequency for Harwood, a major sugarcane growing region in Northern NSW. The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) effect on harvest rainfall totals and wet spell frequency was also considered and climate diagnostics for extreme wet seasons were investigated. A moderate linear relationship between total rainfall and wet spell frequency exists for both winter (r = 0.68) and spring (r = 0.66). The ENSO had little influence in winter but La Niña events in spring favoured higher rainfall totals and wet spell frequency. Extreme wet seasons were largely influenced by positive pressure anomalies over southeastern Australia and the Tasman Sea.

Item ID: 18233
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: rainfall variability; agricultural impacts; Australia
ISSN: 1097-0088
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2011 11:56
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829899 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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