September 5, 2018 / 1:26 AM / 22 days ago

Australian drought intensifies over past five months: weather bureau

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A drought across Australia’s east coast has intensified after near record-low levels of rain across much of the region over the past five months, the country’s weather bureau said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A lone tree stands near a water trough in a drought-effected paddock on Jimmie and May McKeown's property located on the outskirts of town of Walgett, in New South Wales, Australia, July 20, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said nearly all of the country’s east coast recorded well below average rains between April 1 and Aug. 31, plunging nearly all of the region into drought.

The bureau last week said the east coast will continue to experience dry weather for at least the next three months, offering little relief for farmers struggling to stay in business.

Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Richard Pullin

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