Rainfall relief this summer

THE nation's leading weather bureau predicts South-east Queensland is in for a hot and dry summer with little chance of widespread flooding.

The Bureau of Meteorology briefed a cabinet meeting in Brisbane on Monday morning where ministers were told to expect typical South-east Queensland summer weather.

Much to the relief of Brisbane and regional residents swamped by the flood deluge last year, the bureau also predicted rainfall to be below previous years. 

"We have switched back to neutral conditions, or border La Nina, and from that we can paint a picture a little bit of what we can expect for the coming summer," regional director Rob Webb said following the cabinet meeting. 

"We have seen no strong signals like we have seen in the previous two years for widespread flooding or widespread rainfall, but it is still the time of the year that Queenslanders should really be preparing for the storm season.

"With the last years dominated by La Niña we have seen a lot more heavy rainfall events than we would usually expect. This year we will see a return to the typical South-east Queensland storm, which is more heavy winds and large hailstones. 

"Expect a return to those typical South-east Queensland storms we see, increasing in the next month or two but peaking in November of December."

Following Cyclone Yasi last year, Mr Webb also put the concerns of North Queenslanders at bay.

"There is no strong indicators with the current climate we will see any significantly above average (cyclone activity)," he said. 

"If anything leaning towards below average activity."

Following on from the bureau's long-term weather outlook, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said the Somerset and Wivenhoe Dam would not be drawn down.

"...because they are not forecasting large rain events or consistent rain events like we saw in previous years," he said. 

Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle said he received advice from his Director-General and the bureau not to touch the dam as South-east Queensland was in for a "hot and dry summer".

The Wivenhoe Dam is currently at 99.3% capacity and Somerset Dam is at 100%.

The decision comes as an independent report into Seqwater's assessment of the January 2011 flood was handed down.

The report, compiled by two United States-based flood mitigation agencies, found the dam engineers who managed water releases from the dams before last year's flood, best met the objectives in the flood manual.

Topics:  floods politics weather

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