COOLING DOWN: Enjoying the beautiful weather at Somerset Dam Kerrod Morissey and Shayde McGowan.
COOLING DOWN: Enjoying the beautiful weather at Somerset Dam Kerrod Morissey and Shayde McGowan. David Nielsen

A hot and dry to start 2014

IPSWICH has not only experienced a hot start to 2014 but also a very dry one.

Although the driest January on record appears to have occurred in 2003 - when not a single millimetre of rain was registered - the first half of this January wasn't far in front.

The short spurts of showers the Amberley weather station has recorded so far have only totalled 3mm and, with more light showers and possible storms forecast for the next week, the region seems unlikely to meet its January average rainfall figure of 117mm.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Janine Yuasa said it was difficult to predict rainfall more than a week in advance.

"At this stage we are not expecting a big rain band that would provide the amount of rain we need to reach the average for January," she said.

"The only chance would be if a storm was to come through - a big storm could easily bring 50mm at a time.

"A ridge is dominating the weather over south-east Queensland at the moment, which is why we've seen relatively stable conditions."

While those lucky enough to be able to enjoy the dry, hot weather haven't been complaining too loudly, farmers are crying out for rain to break the spell.

The dry January weather is in stark contrast to last year, when 277mm fell for the month, including a 146mm deluge on January 28 which caused widespread flooding.

The long-term rainfall outlook is also much different for the first quarter of 2014, with the Bureau only giving south-east Queensland a 30% chance of exceeding the median rainfall figure.

On the other hand, there is a 70% chance the region will exceed its average minimum and maximum temperatures over the same period.

So far this month, the average maximum temperature recorded at Amberley has hovered about two degrees above the long-term January average of 31.1.



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