Second flood threat high
STILL reeling from the horrors of last week's floods we are now being told there is a chance of more to come.
While not predicting floods, the Weather Bureau's climate services manager Jeff Sabburg said heavy rain was likely to continue.
The seasonal outlook for the next three months comes out today and is not likely to be much different to the current three-month outlook.
The weather pattern responsible for our flooding – called La Nina – is still expected to hang around until April or May or even longer.
Last October the Bureau of Meteorology told State Cabinet a strong La Nina would bring enhanced tropical cyclone activity as well as an increased likelihood of heavy rain and flooding.
Dr Sabburg said yesterday that forecast still stood.
Another effect of La Nina is values of the SOI (Southern Oscillation Index).
“We expect above-average rainfall to continue into summer and the La Nina event is expected to persist into autumn,” Dr Sabburg said.
“Between January and March there is a 70 per cent chance of exceeding median rainfall which, for Ipswich, is 276mm.
“The SOI is expected to go neutral (meaning average conditions) in April/May but it could go back into La Nina.”
The current La Nina is the strongest since 1917, which persisted into 1918.
That long-lasting La Nina produced highest on-record falls for the 20-month period from June 1916 to January 1918.
All the eastern states had well over half of their area covered with rainfall in the highest 10 per cent of the historical record during this time.
In 1893, which is the bench-mark for floods in south-east Queensland, there were two floods within a month.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the state was on alert for more extreme weather.
Ipswich's Local Disaster Management Group deputy chairman Trevor Nardi said the city was ready if there was another flood.
“We hope and pray we never get another one. But we are prepared and always will be,” Cr Nardi said.
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With the possibility of more floods, the Insurance Council of Australia says people can’t afford to be complacent when it came to flood insurance.
General manager of risk Karl Sullivan said not enough people made the effort to understand the risks they were facing.