Showers are forecast for the Gympie region this week, as seen on the radar at 8am Monday. Courtesy of BoM.
Showers are forecast for the Gympie region this week, as seen on the radar at 8am Monday. Courtesy of BoM. Contributed

Rain could come, after bone dry summer

WHILE Gympie farewells an extremely hot, dry summer, the start of March is already looking more optimistic for rainfall.

Just under 10mm fell overnight in Gympie with up to 30mm forecast for the rest of the week and the possibility of higher isolated totals if storms hit tomorrow and Wednesday.

Mount Wolvi received 22mm overnight, the most in south east Queensland.

It's a god-send compared to recent monthly rainfall totals - when Gympie's January rain barely reached 13mm - just 8.7% of the region's average January rainfall of 149.4mm.

It grossly contributed to the low overall summer rainfall for the region that totalled 170mm for December, January and February, just 35% of Gympie's mean summer rainfall of 486mm.

On either side of January, December last year recorded 111mm (35.2mm short of average), while February this year recorded 46mm (144.4mm short of average).

Gympie's seven day forecast. Courtesy of Weatherzone.
Gympie's seven day forecast. Courtesy of Weatherzone. Contributed

March still had the potential to bring rainfall to the region, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Woods said, with the mean rainfall total for the month slightly more than January's in Gympie.

"We can still get east coast lows, tropical cyclone season doesn't finish until the end of April, (there's) still the potential for systems to move south and bring a lot of rainfall,” Mr Woods said.

In the immediate future there was the potential for heavier storms tomorrow and Wednesday to bring up to 30mm he said as the weather is dictated by a high pressure system in the Tasman.

"It's looking like a pretty wet week - which is good news as we realise it's been quite dry over many parts of southern Queensland over summer,” Mr Woods said.

A westward-moving trough from the Coral Sea could see storms and an enhancement of showers about the east coast, including the Gympie region, he said.

The long-term outlook for autumn, that was released last week, shows conditions are likely to be warmer and drier in the eastern parts of Australia, with a chance of entering El Nino.

The likelihood is far from certain, Mr Woods said, with about a 50% chance of El Nino developing from autumn; double the normal likelihood.

"If it develops, it generally brings warmer and drier conditions to much of eastern Australia.”