EVERY location in the Central West has received less than half of its average winter rainfall, new data shows.
The long, dry season did not offer rainfall reprieve from the drought with many local government water restrictions getting tighter and dams continuing to dry up.
During an average winter the wettest locations in the region are Orange (232.0 millimetres), Oberon (222.7mm) and Lithgow (198.6mm), but each received well below average rainfall this season with 106.4mm, 64.1mm and 84.6mm recorded respectively.
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Traditionally Nyngan, Bathurst and Mudgee are the Central West's driest locations each winter and this winter was no exception with each recording well below average rainfall.
Nyngan usually receives 92.3mm of rain during the season, but only 12.0mm fell, while Bathurst's 41.8mm of rain was way down on the season's long-term average of 119.4mm.
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In Mudgee which is usually the region's third driest location during winter, just 22.2mm of rain was recorded by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) which was way down on the usual 120.6mm.
During the BoM's seasonal outlook that was released on Thursday, senior hydrologist Dr Paul Feikema said Australia had just had one of its driest winters on record.
"Our year-to-date rainfall is likely to be in the driest five years on record and lowest since 1970," he said.
"Winter daytime temperatures have been mostly above average due to clear skies and dry soils, but those same clear skies have meant that night were particularly cold in parts of inland Australia.
"Mudgee went below minus five degrees on seven mornings in June and August."
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For the spring ahead, Dr Feikema said drier than average conditions are likely with a 70 to 80 per cent chance of below average rainfall in the Central West.
"Days are likely to be warmer than average," he said.
In the Central West, there is an 80 per cent chance of above average temperatures.
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