Farms in the Lockyer Valley in south-east Queensland are only starting to dry out after months of wet conditions — so forecasts of more rain late this week are making some farmers nervous.
- An upper trough moving through Queensland is expected to bring increasing rain
- Farmers in the Lockyer Valley say more rain could interrupt their preparations for summer
- Tourism operators on the Sunshine Coast say the rain won’t affect record bookings for the June school holidays
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting increasing cloud, rain, and cooler temperatures across Queensland towards the weekend due to an upper trough moving east across the state.
Grower Troy Qualischefski said the rain could interrupt preparations for summer with crops, such as onions, being planted.
“If it’s 10 to 20 millimetres … it’s probably bearable, but anything 50-plus probably becomes a bit annoying again,” Mr Qualischefski said.
“I think most farmers in the Lockyer Valley would be keeping a close eye on [the rain].”
Mr Qualischefski said growers were slowly recovering after being hit by floods in February and May, but the full effect of the natural disasters was yet to be felt.
Weather forecasters predict the Sunshine Coast could get about 15mm between Tuesday and Friday this week and then up to 100mm between Saturday and Monday.
But accommodation providers were not particularly concerned by the rain with parts of the Sunshine Coast experiencing their busiest June school holiday period.
Landmark Mooloolaba general manager Brett Thompson said there was so much pent-up energy after COVID-19 lockdowns that bad weather was not likely to affect bookings.
He said July was also set to be a bumper month.
“We’re already booked at about 84 per cent capacity,” Mr Thompson said.
“The weather has been nothing short of fantastic in the past month, so people are enjoying the open air and having the opportunity to walk on the beach.”
Mr Thompson said wet weather would be unfortunate for those who had booked in advance, but he did not think it would lead to cancellations.
Well below average maximum temperatures combined with rain and moderate winds are forecast for north-west Queensland for the remainder of this week.
The weather bureau warned a significant wind chill in the region could pose a risk to livestock in some areas.
The forecast rainy weather has led to the cancellation of one of the region’s flagship rodeos, the Saxby Round-Up, held at Taldora Station, 180 kilometres north of Julia Creek.
“We have 600 to 700 people turning up, so we don’t want them stuck 180 kilometres out on a dirt road if we get the predicted forecast,” president Colin Blacklock said.
A grazier himself, Mr Blacklock was considering what the forecast would mean for his own livestock.
“If we can get near what they’re predicting, I think it’ll set the back end of our year up, but most of our stock are in good enough condition that I think they’ll handle a bit of cold weather.”
University of Southern Queensland climatologist Chelsea Jarvis said warm waters off Australia’s north and west coast were driving the wet conditions across Australia.
“We have a lot of warm water building up and this is due to having two years of La Niña.
“That warm water acts as a moisture source for things like storms and conduction.”
Ms Jarvis said there was an 80 per cent chance between now and October that Queensland would exceed its median rainfall totals.