Hot and dry start to spring worries farmers, firefighters

AFTER much needed, but lacklustre, rain last week, spring has arrived feeling more like summer.

Temperatures are forecast to soar into the mid-thirties this week, as firefighters brace for dangerous conditions and farmers worry their crops could spoil before harvest.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Kimba Wong said a ridge of high pressure was sitting over the state, causing the warmer conditions.

"(It's) not really moving anywhere, so the airmass is stagnating over us," Ms Wong said.

"With these cloud free skies, the temperature can really warm up during the day and it's sort of just continuously warming up through this week."

With a cold front likely to push in through the end of a week, winds will turn north-north-westerly and bring hot air from the north and interior of the state.

The sudden warm temperatures is worrying farmers in the middle of harvesting winter crops.

The spike in temperature could cause produce to mature early and degrade it before harvest.

 

Elders Gatton agronomist Greg Teske.
Elders Gatton agronomist Greg Teske. ALI KUCHEL

Elders Gatton agronomist Greg Teske said with temperatures still reaching as low as 9C over night, the big variation could have big affects on farmers, including increased water usage and pests arriving earlier than usual.

"The warmer temperature, the quicker the rotation of the life-cycle of the pest," Mr Teske

While cooler temperatures are expected to arrive on the weekend, Mr Teske was worried the sudden hot burst could be a sign of things to come.

He warned if a hot spell lasted longer than the present forecast - it would cause serious problems.

"We would not want this to go on for a week or more, then that could have some real ramifications for the crops," he said.

The warm start to spring also has fire crews worried, with a total fireban declared for the Somerset, Lockyer Valley and Ipswich regions.

Ms Wong said the bureau had issued a fire weather warning due to the dry airmass sitting over the state.

"With a little bit of wind around and those warm temperatures... there is elevated fire dangers and those fire dangers are likely to remain elevated for much of this week," she said.

"Particularly for this Friday as well, with those really warmer temperatures coming through, and the winds becoming quite gusty and north westerly."

The cool change over the weekend will unfortunately bring more dry air with it, making rainfall an unlikely prospect.

"It's looking particularity unlikely that we'll see any rainfall pretty much anywhere in Queensland for the next week," she said.


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