No relief from big dry

MERCURY RISING: Last months weather broke records as the fourth driest December on record.
MERCURY RISING: Last months weather broke records as the fourth driest December on record.

KINGAROY has experienced its fourth-driest December.

Rainfall figures from 1905 show that 2012's December rainfall of 23.2mm ranks fourth-lowest after 1919's 6.1mm, 1938's 8.2mm and 1942's 11.9mm in December.

And Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Pradeep Singh said the dry spell looked set to continue.

"This week we're looking at five to seven days where there's not going to be much rainfall," he said.

"And whatever rainfall that is happening will mostly be in coastal areas. There will be none inland."

Mr Singh said conditions of this kind were unusual in the region at this time of year.

"Looking at average figures for January, it is unseasonable," he said.

"And in December the Kingaroy region usually experiences good shower and storm activity.

"But it seems the season was delayed and there weren't as many storms as there are in an average year."

The wet conditions produced at the same time last year were due to a strong La Nina, but this year conditions appear to be neutral, causing drier weather.

Mr Singh warned tomorrow would be a scorcher.

"Extreme temperatures will be experienced on Wednesday, where temperatures will be six to eight degrees above average for January," he said. "The average temperature for January in Kingaroy is usually 31 degrees."

The dry weather puts local firefighters on high alert.

Murgon Urban and Rural Fire Brigade captain Peter Angel said the conditions made fires harder to tame.

"We attended a fire at Ballogie during the week and it took a while to get on top of it," he said. "The dry conditions mean grass is tinder dry, and there's no moisture in the air. It is easier for fires to escalate quickly."

Captain Angel said residents around the region should be prepared for the fire season.

"Clean up around your homes and dwellings, remove extra rubbish, and make sure fire services can easily access your property," he said.

"Ensure your gates are wide enough and tracks are accessible for our trucks.

"And if you have a water supply, make sure crews can also easily access this. These things can make a huge difference."

South Burnett

Topics:  south burnett weather

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