Heatwave washes over state

New temperature records expected in Queensland


Farmers are feeling the strain with record temperatures causing crops to struggle.

Spring heat: Map showing expected temperatures for Wednesday September 27. Source The BOM

Spring heat: Map showing expected temperatures for Wednesday September 27. Source The BOM

The Bureau of Meterology (BOM) is expecting some areas of Queensland to set new maximum temperature records for the month of September over the next few days.

Some towns looked likely to reach their highest temperatures on record for September on Wednesday and Thursday.

BOM senior forecaster Rick Threlfall said towns like Cunnamulla, Charleville and St George were in line to set new benchmarks. 

Birdsville was tipped to reach 43 degrees on Wednesday, which would have been the highest September temperature on record for anywhere in Australia. 

The change was thought to be brought on by a hot air mass that has been building up over northern Australia over the past few days.

Mr Threlfall said it could also be down to how dry it has been throughout the winter.

“When it is very dry you do tend to get hotter maximum temperatures,” said Mr Threlfall.

However, Mr Threlfall said it was very unusual to be getting these kinds of temperatures so early on in the year.

While it is uncertain how long this weather pattern will last, the current temperatures are a good indicator of how the rest of the year will play out.

Mr Threlfall said the forecast for the summer is that it is going to be warmer than average.

“The outlook for the next three months at least is fairly good odds of being above average temperatures for October, November and December,” he said. 

The above-average temperatures are expected particularly prevalent over the central and northern parts of the state, with a 65 to 70 per cent chance of being warmer than average.

While the heat has proved beneficial in drying some chickpea crops nearing harvest, most dryland crops across southern Queensland have been hit hard.

Cotton Growers Services St George branch manager Greg Mills said the extra water usage needed this winter would affect summer crop prospects in the area. 

"We have some reasonable irrigated crops and that's in one sense a bright spot because there is a few barley, wheat and chickpea crops under irrigation," he said.

"The only problem with that is they have had a pre-irrigation and one, two and approaching three waterings which is extremely unusual so it's been a very big hit for farmers.

“It's robbed them of water for the main season of cotton production.”

“On the dryland front, it's pretty disastrous.”

“A lot of crops are being grazed, a lot of crops are being heavily impacted by kangaroos.”

“I think there will be a high percentage of crops that never see a harvester."

- Additional reporting Lucy Kinbacher 


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