Winter rain would be welcome in Warwick
SOUTHERN Downs farmers have their eyes on the skies this weekend, with the promise of some of the best winter rain in years.
Warwick could have its wettest June day on record this weekend, with falls of as much as 80mm forecast for Saturday.
A curtain of heavy rain will sweep across the region, bringing welcome winter falls.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a 95% chance of 30–80mm for the day.
If the forecast is true, records could tumble across the region.
According to the Bureau, the wettest June day on record was 54.8mm on June 21, 1979.
The average June rainfall for Warwick is just 34.9mm.
While Deuchar farmer Richard Jubb is sceptical, he said the rain would be wonderful.
As he prepares to plant a winter crop of chickpeas, Mr Jubb is hopeful for a wetter winter than last year.
“We’ve been pretty dry, and last winter was unbelievably dry,” he said.
“To have a wetter than average winter would make a chance from last year.
“It would be of great benefit to the future of the crop.”
The rain wouldn’t just be helpful for crops.
McDougall and Sons auctioneer David McIvor said the rain would have a positive effect on sheep and cattle prices.
“We’ve seen both cattle and sheep and lamb prices rise over the last two to three weeks due to supply and demand,” he said.
“Certainly if we were to receive 50mm or 60mm it would have a major impact on prices.”
The heavy rain also looks certain to boost storage levels at Leslie Dam, which has dropped to 13.9%.
A SunWater spokeswoman said SunWater was optimistic about the forecast.
“Based on the present forecast, it is highly likely that we will see inflows into Leslie Dam and stream flows in the Condamine River,” she said.
Meanwhile, forecasters believe there will be thunderstorms embedded in the rain band.
Forecaster Lauren Pattie said falls in excess of 200mm were possible under the storms.
“With these rainfall totals we are considering the possibility of flash flooding, particularly in the far south east of the state,” she said.
The approaching rain band will extend from Rockhampton to St George, with widespread falls of 20mm–50mm east of the line.
The rain event will be short-lived, with the Bureau forecasting skies to clear on Sunday morning.