BOM warns wet spring and summer could see more Queensland floods

Queenslanders are being warned to expect spring and summer conditions similar to the La Niña event that brought widespread flooding to parts of the state in February.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) today briefed cabinet on the seasonal conditions ahead.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was likely the state would see a mild bushfire season but above average rainfall was set to continue.

“The good news is we’re not expecting a big bushfire season, but we are expecting a wetter than normal spring,” she said.

“These conditions could be similar to the conditions over the summer of this year.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the government would ensure councils across the state were prepared for more wet weather and were implementing recommendations from the last flooding event.

‘Quite a bit of flooding’ expected

BOM meteorologist Laura Boekel said the outlook applied to the whole state, and could not be pinpointed more specifically.

“All of Queensland should be aware that we are expecting increased chance of above average rainfall this season,” she said.

“If we couple what we have seen in the winter, which is a lot more and grounds remaining wet and not moisture drying up, with the forecast of an above average season, that means we could see quite a bit of flooding across Queensland.

“All of Queensland should be across the fact that we are expecting to see quite a bit of rainfall.”

A controlled fire is burning next to green grass trees with a vehicle in the background
Queenslanders living in regional areas should expect “significant grassfire activity” over spring and summer months.(Supplied: Lydall Scobell)

‘Significant grassfire activity’

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Greg Leach said while the bushfire season is expected to be normal, those in regional parts of the state need to be prepared for grassfire.

“Our modeling still shows that we’re likely to experience a normal bushfire season,” he said.

“Whilst we’re unlikely to see the extensive bushfires such as we saw in 2018/19, we are going to see significant grassfire activity in some parts of the state.

“The recent rain we’ve had brought on a significant amount of grass load growth through western, central and southern parts of Queensland, and the frosts that we’ve seen in recent weeks has dried off much of that vegetation.”

He said rural brigades had mobilized to complete 133 hazard reduction burns totaling nearly 60,000 hectares.

Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan urged those in regional Queensland to be prepare for grassfires.

“For people in the north, and central and west, there is still a significant chance for you to experience grassfire … you need to be prepared for that season.”

Flood cameras and sirens to be installed across Ipswich

Ipswich City Council Mayor Teresa Harding said her council was conducting its own flood review which will begin at the end of this month.

“It’s obviously quite emotional to hear of this [outlook],” she said.

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