Queensland has been in the grip of a terrible drought. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Queensland has been in the grip of a terrible drought. Picture: Nigel Hallett

New weather outlook spells hot, dry summer

THE weather bureau has warned an El Nino could develop this spring, which would further reduce the chance of rainfall for drought-stricken farmers.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Climate Outlook for October to December, released this morning, indicates a continued dry spell for Australia and a warm end to the year.

 

Queensland has been in the grip of a terrible drought. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Queensland has been in the grip of a terrible drought. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

The report highlighted warmer daytime temperatures are most likely in Queensland's tropical north, while central Queensland is expected to experience very dry conditions.

The country is currently experiencing a neutral La Nina/ El Nino phase, however the weather bureau said current observations indicate a likely shift to El Nino during spring.

 

 

BoM's senior hydrologist Dr Robert Pipunic said the combination of drier-than-average conditions and warmer temperatures would mean little respite for drought affected farmers.

"The temperature outlook for October to December indicates warmer than average days and nights are likely for most of Australia," he said.

 

Cunnamulla Golf Club president Robert Crick takes a swing off the 13th fairway on his drought-ravaged course. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Cunnamulla Golf Club president Robert Crick takes a swing off the 13th fairway on his drought-ravaged course. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

"This warmth combined with the drier-than-usual conditions during spring to (the) early summer period is likely to increase bushfire risk and unfortunately exacerbate drought conditions in eastern Australia."

 

Saskia Jenkins, 18, from Isle of Capri, has the right idea by cooling off at Froggys Beach on the Gold Coast. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Saskia Jenkins, 18, from Isle of Capri, has the right idea by cooling off at Froggys Beach on the Gold Coast. Picture: Nigel Hallett

 

Today's outlook comes after the State Government was briefed in July about a possible devastating El Nino weather event which could be catastrophic for Queensland farmers who have already suffered five years of drought.

As reported by The Courier-Mail at the time, more than half of Queensland remains drought-declared with some shires in the west without rain since 2013.

In some regions, including Cunnamulla, deep in the state's southwest where sheep and cattle are a critical part of the local economy, populations have been decimated and property prices have plunged.



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