Farms in South East Queensland’s Lockyer Valley are only starting to dry out after months of wet conditions – so forecasts of more rain at the end of this week are making some farmers nervous.
Most important points:
- An upper trough moving through Queensland is expected to bring increasing rain
- Farmers in the Lockyer Valley say more rain could interrupt their summer preparations
- Sunshine Coast tourists say rain won’t affect record June school holiday bookings
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts increasing cloud, rain and cooler temperatures in Queensland by the weekend due to an upper trough moving eastward across the state.
Grower Troy Qualischefski said the rain could interrupt summer preparations by planting crops, such as onions.
“If it’s 10 to 20 millimeters… it’s probably tolerable, but anything above 50 is probably going to get a bit annoying again,” said Mr. Qualischenfski.
“I think most farmers in the Lockyer Valley would be watching closely” [the rain]†
Mr Qualischefski said growers were slowly recovering from the floods in February and May, but the full effect of the natural disasters was not yet felt.
Weather forecasters predict that the Sunshine Coast could reach about 15mm between Tuesday and Friday this week and then up to 100mm between Saturday and Monday.
But accommodation providers weren’t particularly concerned about the rain, as parts of the Sunshine Coast experienced their busiest school holiday period in June.
Brett Thompson, general manager of Landmark Mooloolaba, said there was so much pent-up energy after COVID-19 lockdowns that bad weather probably didn’t affect bookings.
He said July would also be a great month.
“We already have about 84 percent capacity,” said Mr. Thompson.
“The weather has been nothing short of fantastic for the past month, so people are enjoying the open air and having the opportunity to walk on the beach.”
Mr Thompson said wet weather would be unfortunate for those who booked in advance but he didn’t think it would lead to cancellations.
For the remainder of this week, well below average maximum temperatures combined with rain and moderate winds are forecast for northwestern Queensland.
The weather agency warned that significant wind chill in the region could pose a risk to livestock in some areas.
The predicted rainy weather has led to the cancellation of one of the region’s flagship rodeos, the Saxby Round-Up, held at Taldora Station, 180 kilometers north of Julia Creek.
“We have 600 to 700 people showing up, so we don’t want them stuck 180 kilometers on a dirt road if we get the forecast forecast,” President Colin Blacklock said.
mr. Blacklock was a grazer himself and considered what the weather forecast would mean for his own livestock.
“If we can get close to what they’re forecasting, I think it will improve by the end of our year, but most of our stock is in good enough shape that I think they can handle a little bit of cold weather.”
Climatologist Chelsea Jarvis of the University of Southern Queensland said warm waters off Australia’s north and west coasts drove the wet conditions across Australia.
“We have built up a lot of hot water and this is because we had La Niña for two years.
“That warm water acts as a moisture source for things like storms and conduction.”
Ms Jarvis said there was an 80 per cent chance between now and October that Queensland would exceed average rainfall totals.