An El Nino weather pattern will bring warmer temperatures and less rainfall during the peak Mid North Coast bushfire period.
An El Nino weather pattern will bring warmer temperatures and less rainfall during the peak Mid North Coast bushfire period. Mike Knott

Dry winter heightens bushfire danger

A DRIER than usual winter has brought forecasts of a high bushfire period for the Coffs Coast.

After a series of East Coast Lows brought 701.3mm of rain through autumn, the ground has certainly dried up since then with warmer temperatures and only 65.2mm of rain falling over the past 12 weeks.

Without doubt July to September is Coffs Harbour's driest period of the year where we see a westerly wind pattern and less humidity.

The recent run of weather though has been particularly dry with only about 30% of the average rainfall coming down in the 12 week period.

The reason for the recent weather has been an El Nino weather pattern meaning increasing temperatures, heat waves and decreased odds of average rainfall.

A senior meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology, Sean Carson, said the weather event brings an increased level of bushfire concerns.

"We've dried out earlier than we would wish after the autumn rainfall events and now we are heading for dangerous bushfire period," Mr Carson said.