RAIN ON THE WAY: Oliver 6 and Milla Fraguas 8 from Stanthorpe play in a full Storm King Dam, what every farmer is hoping for over the next few months. Pics Adam Head
RAIN ON THE WAY: Oliver 6 and Milla Fraguas 8 from Stanthorpe play in a full Storm King Dam, what every farmer is hoping for over the next few months. Pics Adam Head

‘Looking better than it has’: Farmers hopeful for La Niña

SPRING could bring an extra surprise for Stanthorpe farmers this year, with meteorologists now on La Niña alert for the next coming months.

New weather modelling from Bureau of Meteorology has shown that the weather event is three times more likely than the average season.

Meteorologist Kimber Wong said the 70 per cent chance was a promising turn of events for southeast Queensland.

“Our rainfall outlook is certainly above medium rainfall the next few months, especially from September to November,” Ms Wong said.

“La Niña generally means for Queensland weather, a wetter wet season, and an earlier onset to the wet season, with the chance for more cyclones than the average season.”

Coupled with a unseasonably wet winter, it could even provide the drought-breaking downpour Stanthorpe farmers still needed.

“It has been much wetter this year than last year. While a number of locations are still lacking with reasonable deficiencies, particularly in your part of the world, … drought-breaking rain is not necessarily out of the question.”

While relying too heavily on forecasts is always risky business in farming, Southern Downs cattle producer Bill Gross was cautiously optimistic.

“The rainfall has been good, the best we’ve had for some time, and the season looking good,” he said.

“Weather is pretty hard to forecast but it’s looking better than it has been.”

Predicting a strong oats and grain crop this year, Mr Gross said three inches of steady rain could signal a shift for struggling producers.

“We don’t want a flood — just rain that runs the into the river and the back of the dams,” he said.



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