EYES ON THE SKIES: Gympie weather watcher Ted Uebergang.
EYES ON THE SKIES: Gympie weather watcher Ted Uebergang. Renee Pilcher

Storm season kicks off with a bang

TUESDAY night's brief, but powerful storm surge served as a timely reminder to the Gympie community about the dangers of unpredictable weather events.

Local weather fanatic Ted Uebergang said it was no surprise the first day of the Queensland storm season brought wild weather to the region.

"The storm we saw on Tuesday was patchy, but quite intense in some parts,” he says.

"It's no surprise though, considering the humidity in the air leading up to the afternoon.”

Despite a number of businesses and properties in and around town receiving damage, the rain the storm provided was desperately needed.

Mr Uebergang is hoping for a wetter summer after a worryingly dry year.

"Conditions have been incredibly dry for most of 2016,” he says.

"It's been very hot and rainfall has been really mediocre - anything we've had in the region hasn't been of a great quantity.”

Having continuously monitored weather in and around Gympie for 19 years, Mr Uebergang said the region has been drying out for years.

He said the lack of rainfall was to the detriment of local families and agribusiness.

"Even looking back to the storms we were seeing in the early 2000s, there's quite a noticeable difference,” he says.

But if the recent wild weather is any indication of what's to come, Mr Uebergang recommends families prepare well ahead of time.

Having witnessed some of the most extreme conditions in the region's recent history, he knows how predictable the season can be.

"I've never seen anything here like what happened after Cyclone Oswald,” he says.

"It was some of the most incredible damage I've seen weather inflict on this region.”

Regularly upgrading his weather monitoring equipment, Mr Uebergang has recently introduced lightning-strike tracking software to his arsenal.

Using an active antenna, the device has a range of up to 1500km, providing a constant feed of information.

It's another service Mr Uebergang says he's more than happy to provide to the Gympie community.

Locals can expect more storms on Friday and potentially through the weekend, with temperatures set to soar on Saturday.

"We're looking at hot conditions and a lot of water in the air and the ground,” Ted says.

"At the very least, locals should be prepared.”

Gympie Times

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