Region watching and waiting for rain

Published 11:54am 22 July 2020

Region watching and waiting for rain
Words by Nick Crockford

Relief may be on the way for the Moreton Bay region’s farmers, gardeners – and rural fire fighters.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a La Nina Watch which is expected to bring increased rainfall to the region.

A La Nina, which in this instance still has to go through an Alert level before it is confirmed, typically increases the chance of above-average rainfall across much of Australia in spring.

BoM’s latest forecast says there is a 50 per cent chance of a La Nina forming in 2020, which is ‘double the normal likelihood’.

Region watching and waiting for rain

Planning ahead

It comes as Moreton Bay Regional Council this week completed a hazard reduction burn at Lake Kurwongbah, pictured, - the latest of 15 hazard burn offs this season.

A council spokeswoman says 72ha of council-managed bushland has been planned burnt so far this season, including key burns at Bunya, Draper, North Lakes and Cashmere.

“Council will assess the impact of forecast rainfall to then determine there is any further opportunities to undertake planned burns before we head into fire season,” the spokeswoman says.

“It is expected that this (La Nina) pattern should ease the risk of a severe fire season later in the year.”

Region watching and waiting for rain

According to BoM, the last La Nina in Australia was from December 2017 to February 2018. The last El Nino, opposite of La Nina, was from May 2015 to March 2016.

The BoM forecast says the Southern Annular Mode (movement of strong westerly winds) is expected to increase to positive values by the end of July.

In winter, a positive SAM typically reduces rainfall in far southern parts of Australia, but can enhance rainfall in NSW and southern Queensland.

Want more news and updates? Head to our blog.

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