With Kempsey receiving only 30 per cent of its average annual rainfall last year, the question of whether this trend will continue in 2020 is on everyone's mind.
The Macleay received 368.8mm of rain in 2019, compared to the average of 1217mm. This is the lowest rainfall Kempsey has received in over 100 years.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Climatologist Jonathan Pollock said the rainfall outlook for Kempsey is showing an even percentage of being either drier than average or wetter than average for the first few months of 2020.
"The dry conditions that Kempsey experienced last year are starting to dissipate and the outlook is looking to be more neutral for the beginning of 2020," he said.
"For Kempsey there is a 50/50 chance of above or below average rainfall between February and March, with April shaping up to be similar."
For the three-month outlook for Kempsey from February to April there is a 75 per per cent chance of at least 250mm and a 92 per cent chance of at least 150mm of rain.
"From February to April there is a 40 per cent chance of wetter than average conditions and a 60 per cent chance of drier than average conditions. The odds are pretty close which could mean more neutral conditions for the area.
"The odds are close, so it could go either way."
Temperature-wise, Mr Pollock said conditions will continue to be warmer than average during the first few months of the year.
"The temperature up to April for Kempsey is likely to be warmer than average, which is the case for most of the east coast of Australia."
BOM also notes that even though outlooks for drier than average conditions have eased, many months of above average rainfall would be needed to recover from the long-term rainfall deficiencies.
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