Farmers with late-planted chickpeas are likely to benefit most from the scattered storms that resulted from last weekend’s mild conditions across the Warrego, Maranoa and Darling Downs.
The summer-like storms that flashed across southern Queensland on Saturday were typically patchy in nature, and as is often the case, those who needed it most missed out.
Many on the Who Got the Rain webpage described their falls as the best since Tropical Cyclone Debbie’s influence back in March.
They included Peter Waddell, who had 13.5mm at Formartin south east of Dalby.
“Best fall since TC Debbie in late March – peas enjoying the moisture,” he said.
It was a similar story for Jeanne Seifert at Wonga, north of Jandowae, who had 20mm, her biggest single fall since March, and for Margaret Neill at Newstead, south west of Surat, whose 14mm was her heaviest fall since March.
According to GDL’s Peter Daniel, the further north the rain went from Dalby, which had around 20mm, the better it got.
He said there had been 30mm to the north and east of the town.
“The season has been pretty average on the Downs so this will help, but it’s very late for a lot of winter crops,” he said. “People with late chickpeas in the ground will find it handy but I think a lot will sit it out and plant summer crops now.”
Local impressions were confirmed by Weatherzone, which said some inland areas had their largest daily rainfall totals since Cyclone Debbie, with Roma picking up 14.8mm and Mitchell recording 18.2mm.
Roma’s annual polocrosse carnival was washed out by 2pm on Saturday.
Landmark’s Mitchell representative, Steve Hancock said while places to the north of that town had benefited, south of Mitchell, the drought-stricken Bollon region had received “five-eighths of bugger-all”.
“It probably won’t do a lot of good except for people with oats to the north – it will do them a world of good,” he said. “But the storms were very narrow – Amby only had 5mm.”
Nanango’s Margie Lee-Madigan described her weather as “shaping up to be a fair winter with very few frosts and extremely mild, survivable days”.
She landed a 'summer-type storm' with masses of lightning and thunder that brought 23mm.
“A wonderful respite for the oats and the grass,” she said.
Since 12am on Saturday morning, over 20,000 lightning strikes flurried across the skies from Charleville to Brisbane, with 2200 making it to ground.
Widespread fog blanketed southern Queensland on Sunday morning, meaning visibility was as low as 100m at Charleville and 150m at St George.
In the Arcadia Valley, Sally West hadn’t realised rain was forecast and was pleasantly surprised with a 20mm fall on their first ever experimental chickpea crop.
“We’ve been getting 40 points every couple of weeks or so, so we need a bit of sunny weather now,” she said.
“The buffel has taken on another life and the early oats that didn't come up is sprouting.
“Talk about a turnaround. Hoping that the weather stays warm.”
In the South Burnett, Toni Michelle LuckRalph at Durong said she didn’t mind getting woken at midnight to check the rain gauge and find 22.3mm.
Similarly, Claire Kapernick had 19mm of rain at Cloyna in the South Burnett and 13mm at Mondure.
“Rain seems to be coming more regularly in July than it did all summer,” she said.
– Additional reporting by Weatherzone