Big thunderstorms to sweep region this spring
IPSWICH and its surrounds will be in for a soaking this spring and into summer according to climate modelling experts.
USQ climate science Professor Roger Stone said the increased rainfall is linked to a developing La Nina pattern in the Pacific Ocean.
“For the southeast, especially for Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley and all the farming areas down there, it comes up with average to slightly above average rain for Spring and mostly to do with some good solid thunderstorms,” he said.
“They’re that sort this year where you get plenty of rain out of them, even a bit of flash flooding.
“It’s an ideal spring, early summer thunderstorm season coming, so we need to be prepared for that.”
The region experienced the impacts of a La Nina pattern in 2010-2011 and 1974-1975, but Prof Stone said this pattern doesn’t appear to be as strong or as intense.
“They can be too wet for us, but other times they can just give us some decent rainfall.”
Drought-stricken farmers and stock agents have welcomed the news.
Stock agent Peter Hayes at Silverdale cattle sales said the cattle market was selling at record levels and rain would be needed to help keep up with demand.
He said last year was devastating after the region suffered through drought.
“We had an average winter. There wasn’t a lot of frost, but the rainfall just was enough to keep us going.
“Then the westerly winds there a fortnight ago, that’s what’s done all the damage, it’s dried everything completely out again.
“We’re looking for rain to kick the spring along.”