WHAT NEXT?: Chantelle Chipindall watching the weather in Gympie as nature plays its tricks.
WHAT NEXT?: Chantelle Chipindall watching the weather in Gympie as nature plays its tricks. Renee Albrecht

Droughts and flooding rains - but surely not at once

DOROTHEA Mackellar's classic Australian weather forecast - droughts and flooding rains - almost seemed about to come true this week.

Her famous poem about "A sunburnt country” described our continent as "a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains”.

But even the poet herself probably never thought the droughts and flooding rains would be predicted in the same place at the same time.

Usually, we find the best thing about a drought is it's not flooding, and vice versa.

Yesterday Gympie was still officially drought declared, with recent rain having been patchy in some areas and too late in the colder spots for some of the major pasture growth graziers to get their stock through the winter.

But that seems a fairly technical argument when we also had Sky News predicting heaps of rain.

Sky News chief meteorologist Tom Saunders said it was too early to be too specific, but he predicted "a major weather event in the second half of next week.

"It'll be widespread and it'll likely extend right down the eastern part of Queensland.”

This would not be very good news for the Gympie Show, which starts Thursday.

Fortunately, the Bureau of Meteorology thinks it will not be all that bad.

The bureau predicts "a shower or two”, not much more than we might want to keep the dust down and hopefully not create too much mud.

Forecast cloud cover should moderate the temperatures, which on Thursday are predicted to be an overnight minimum of 12 degrees to a high during the day of 24.

It is hoped the weather bureau is on the money, or money might become a problem for the show, which needs a good turnout.

The official forecast for our specific area would seem to rule out the flooding falls predicted in some spots by the people at Sky News - up to 200mm in some coastal areas.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne will consult Gympie's drought committee to see if the drought declaration should be lifted.

Gympie Times


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