The Bureau of Meteorology's long-term rainfall outlook shows a good chance of solid rainfall for southeast Queensland for the first quarter of the New Year.
The Bureau of Meteorology's long-term rainfall outlook shows a good chance of solid rainfall for southeast Queensland for the first quarter of the New Year.

Rain on cards as Wivenhoe drops to 12-year low

THE IPSWICH region could be in for some more much-needed rain this week, with the current forecast indicating falls of up to 40mm across two days.

Despite La Niña influencing the current weather across the region, rainfall has been down and a solid downpour is desperately needed to boost the dwindling major dams.

Despite a solid December total of 118.6mm, 2020 will go down in history as a dry year, with the total of 658.4mm well below the annual average of 855.2mm for Amberley weather station.

Wivenhoe Dam is also at its lowest level since March, 2009.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rosa Hoff said rain was a certainty for Ipswich this week, and the only question was how much the city would get.

“There is a trough over southwest Queensland that is going to start to move east during the middle of this week,” she said.

“There will be some rainfall with that. At the moment the forecast for Ipswich is between 8-20mm on Wednesday and 4-15mm on Thursday, but how much rain we get and when is dependent on the speed at which that system moves.

“The rain will be out over the Darling Downs on Wednesday and more towards the coast on Thursday.”

Cormorant Bay at Wivenhoe Dam on November 20, 2019, when the dam level was about 47 per cent. It is currently at 38 per cent.
Cormorant Bay at Wivenhoe Dam on November 20, 2019, when the dam level was about 47 per cent. It is currently at 38 per cent.

The Bureau’s current forecast indicates combined totals across the two days of anywhere between 10-40mm, but with a chance of a storm on Wednesday, localised falls could be up to double that.

The Bureau says La Niña is still causing an increased chance of rainfall in southeast Queensland.

January to March is likely to be wetter than average for much of Australia, particularly in the east.

The chance of exceeding median rainfall is greater than 70 per cent for much of Queensland, increasing to 80 per cent and above in eastern Queensland.

This graph shows Wivenhoe Dam at its lowest level since the start of March, 2009.
This graph shows Wivenhoe Dam at its lowest level since the start of March, 2009.

With current combined dam levels at just 57 per cent, the rain is desperately needed in the catchment – particularly at Wivenhoe, which is down to just 38.4 per cent.

The last time Wivenhoe Dam was at its current level was in March, 2009.

The Fassifern Valley is even more desperate for rain, with Moogerah Dam down to 15 per cent.

The Lockyer region is also bone dry with Atkinson and Clarendon Dams virtually empty.



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