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Queensland's weather outlook for summer forecasts fewer cyclones, more severe bushfires

By Brittney Kleyn, Tuesday October 15, 2019 - 00:06 EDT
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BOM says days spent in heatwave conditions across Queensland continue to rise, year on year. - ABC

Fewer cyclones are forecast but the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned a "dangerous cocktail" is brewing for the remainder of Queensland's fire season.

The BOM Cyclone and Severe Weather Outlook for 2019-20 was released on Monday and revealed a longer, more severe bushfire season is expected into summer.

The season has already been a record breaker and BOM state manager Bruce Gunn said there was little relief in sight.

"The rainfall outlook for the remainder of 2019 shows well below normal chances of above average rainfall," Mr Gunn said.

"It's a pretty dangerous cocktail for fire weather conditions for the rest of this year."


Cyclone risk 'slightly below average'

The BOM report said days spent in heatwave conditions across Queensland continued to rise, year-on-year.

"We're seeing around about 29 more days of very high fire danger or greater compared to what we saw in 1950," Mr Gunn said.

Severe thunderstorms were also likely to peak around November, although the BOM has predicted heavier, much-needed falls to be later in the season and early in the new year.

The risk of cyclones is "slightly below average" across Australia, but Mr Gunn warned Queenslanders against becoming complacent.

"It really only takes one cyclone," Mr Gunn said.

Unprecedented early start to bushfire season

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the unprecedented early start to the bushfire season had ensured crews were prepared for the unexpected.

"We've got very good surge potential now where we can mobilise people around the state with next to no notice, based on the intelligence and advice from the bureau," Mr Crawford said.

As part of Get Ready Queensland Week launched on Monday in Brisbane, Mr Crawford encouraged all residents to know the risks in their local area.

"In this large diverse state it's not uncommon to have fire burning in one part of the state and have a cyclone in the other," Mr Crawford said.

Minister for Queensland's Reconstruction Authority Cameron Dick urged all Queenslanders to be equally prepared and finalise their disaster management plans.

"Make sure that your home is prepared, that your family is prepared, that you're looking out for your neighbours," Mr Dick said.


© ABC 2019

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