No spring drought relief predicted for Queensland
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No spring drought relief predicted for Queensland

Drought-stricken Queensland has little hope of respite from the ongoing dry, according to the weather bureau’s spring outlook.

After one of the warmest winters on record nationally, south-east Queensland is facing another three months of warm, dry weather.

Dr Andrew Watkins from the Bureau of Meteorology said plenty of rain was needed to break the drought but it was not looking likely that farmers would find relief in the spring months.

“Queensland unfortunately has had average-to-well below average rainfall across the state during winter,” he said.

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“Across the north of the state it’s the dry season - you don’t expect a lot of rainfall at that time but it has been well below average in areas of the south.”

Dr Watkins said the state was predicted to record one of its top-seven warmest winters on record.

“Brisbane, also being very warm, [we're] looking at the possibility of it being the second warmest winter on record,” he said.

There's no early sign of a break in the drought - in fact it could get worse.

There's no early sign of a break in the drought - in fact it could get worse.Credit:AAP

The drought-stricken areas of Queensland had been “doing it tough” across winter, with only about 50 per cent of the average rainfall.

“There was some welcome rain in some parts of the south and the south-east there but unfortunately those more western areas that have been hit by drought quite a lot over the past decades, unfortunately those areas didn’t get the rainfall they needed.”

Dr Watkins said those regions would usually look towards summer rainfall pushed down from the Gulf of Carpentaria to bring relief, so it was hoped the drought could still see some relief later in the year.

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“In terms of the spring outlook, average to drier than average conditions are predicted for much of the state,” he said.

“September has the higher odds of being dry through much of Queensland.

“In terms of temperatures, still looking warm, it’s looking like another warm spring there in Queensland, this may keep unfortunately the evaporation rates fairly high.”

The bureau has warned of an El Nino forming that would increase the chances of ongoing dry conditions, compounded by sea temperatures in the Indian Ocean.

Lucy is a reporter for Brisbane Times with a special interest in health, science and research.