Bushfire threat increases with departure of La Nina system

BOM is expecting a more severe fire season this summer.
BOM is expecting a more severe fire season this summer. Brett Wortman

AS the LA Nina weather system moves away from Australia, taking flood risks with it, the nation now faces an increased bushfire threat.

Bureau of Meterology severe weather national manager John Bally explained that two summers of above-average rainfall had created much grass growth and, teamed with a recent dry spring, had created fuel for fires.

"...with all those fuel loads and now average or perhaps below average rainfall, we're expecting a more severe than average fire season, particularly in areas that have heavy loads of grassland fuels and that's across much of the country," he told media in Melbourne on Monday.

The prediction comes amid sweltering temperatures and gusty winds in Western Australia, prompting severe fire danger warnings in parts of the state.

BOM also predicts Australians will see more thunderstorms this summer than in previous years.

"With a more normal weather pattern this year, we expect to go back to the normal sort of risks from severe thunderstorms that we have and more normal numbers which is higher numbers than we've had for the last two years," Mr Bally said.

"So, we're looking at increased chances compared to the last two years of having a large hail-producing thunderstorms and thunderstorms that produce damaging wind gusts and we've seen that playing out over the last month or so, particularly in eastern Australia."

Federal Attorney-General and Emergency Management Minister Nicola Roxon urged families to keep one eye on the weather this summer.

"While disasters can be unpredictable, we can all be better prepared," Ms Roxon said.

"Whether you're heading out-of-town or staying at home, keeping an eye on the weather forecast is just one of the steps your family should take this summer.

"The bureau's website, your local ABC radio station and the new DisasterWatch phone app are just some of the ways you can stay informed."

Topics:  australia bushfire floods heat la nina storms summer weather

Woolies announces closure of Ipswich store

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Energy drink DNA linked man to crime, court heard

DNA EVIDENCE: An Ipswich man was sentenced after he left an energy drink can at the scene of his crime.

27-year-old charged after police find his DNA at crime scene

Tax time has just about run its race

Here are four tips for last minute tax lodgers

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

This week's community billboard

Learn woodworking and crafting with the Ipswich Woodcrafts Club.

A daily guide to what's on in Ipswich over the next seven days

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Things to do this week

Dragon play Ipswich Civic Centre on Friday October 28

What's on in Ipswich

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Woolies announces closure of Ipswich store

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June