NSW drought drags on despite summer storms

Large parts of western and central NSW remain in drought or intense drought.
Large parts of western and central NSW remain in drought or intense drought.

Drought conditions are likely to continue across NSW this year, despite the recent spate of summer storms.

In its latest seasonal update published on Thursday, the state's Department of Primary Industries said large parts of western and central NSW remained in drought or intense drought - and above-average temperatures are forecast to continue for the next three months.

"While some parts of the state received scattered storm activity leading up to the new year, this hasn't been sustained enough to allow for significant pasture or crop production," the department's Anthony Clark said in a statement.

Areas including Walgett and Coonamble, in NSW's northwest, have endured 18 months or more of extremely dry conditions.

Water levels remain critically low in the NSW Riverina and western Murray regions, with farmers facing significantly low reserves and production.

Conditions had improved along the state's east coast, which received moderate to high rainfall throughout December, but it wasn't enough to shift the region out of the drought-affected category, Dr Clark said.

The amount of land under intense drought in the Hunter has also dropped.

Australian Associated Press