OUTLOOK: Dry Autumn likely, as warm temperatures stay
YOU COULD be forgiven for believing the drought was a distant memory as you drive in the Valley at the moment, with green grass replacing the dry, dusty landscape.
But recent rainfall is by no means drought breaking, and Autumn doesn’t look positive for follow up rains - which could come but could be patchy.
Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Jonathan Pollock warned the outlook for March to May was pointing to a return to dry conditions.
“The outlook is showing us that parts of southeast Queensland, and probably around Gatton, is likely to be slightly drier than average,” Mr Pollock said.
There is some hope, with the one-month outlooks for March and April showing a neutral outlook.
“But overall for autumn, southeast Queensland looks as though it could be a bit drier than usual,” he said.
Some farmers have been jumping for joy over the recent falls, with locations receiving more rain in a month than they had all of last year.
Others haven’t been so lucky.
“The rain patterns have been fascinating for southeast Queensland – it’s kind of patchy,” he said.
“There’s some areas where it’s really been above average and some areas where it’s been closer to average or a bit under.”
For those desperate for rain, there is some hope on the horizon.
The neutral outlook for March and April means it’s likely more local climate drivers will take over, meaning average rainfall could occur.
“It gives more local factors a chance to influence the particular seasonal rainfall and temperature patterns in different locations,” Mr Pollock said.
“You would expect – not everywhere – to get average rainfall.
“With an outlook like this, you would expect there to be areas with above average and below average (rainfall).”
One thing residents and farmers can bank on is to expect a warmer than average Autumn.
But Mr Pollock said there wasn’t a single main driver for this forecast.
“(It’s) probably more complicated where that warmer signal is coming from,” he said.
“Part of it would be the long-term warming trends that we’ve seen around the globe … and other parts of it would be seasonal factors as well.
“But there isn’t really a big major climate driver pushing us towards warmer or cooler than average at the moment.”