Forecasters tip driest January on record if rain not received

HOT: A low-intensity heatwave is affecting most of Australia. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology
HOT: A low-intensity heatwave is affecting most of Australia. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

JANUARY could be the driest on record for parts of Queensland if no rain is received in the next 10 days.

Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Dave Crock said a high pressure system had stopped rain clouds from forming across Queensland skies.

About 27mm of rainfall has been recorded so far this year at Alexandra Hills, on par with amounts received last year.

However, Beaudesert had received only 2mm, in comparison to 141mm received last year in January.

Manly had received about 3mm and Brisbane airport just 1.6mm, Mr Crock said.

“It is dry for most of Queensland and that includes the Redlands area,” Mr Crock said.

“There is still 10 days to go but we are running out of time in regards to any significant rainfall.

“At this stage...(we’re) on track to be one of the driest Januaries, if not the driest on record.”

Mr Crock said a prolonged heatwave over most of Australia had contributed to sweltering, dry conditions across the region.

A heatwave had not been declared across the Redlands because of lower overnight temperatures.

However, daytime temperatures were above 30 degrees along the south-east coast.

Mr Crock said the dry, hot conditions would likely contribute to the parching of vegetation.

No significant rainfall was predicted over the next week.

Last year, forecasters tipped a hotter-than-average summer across the country.

The forecast was delivered on the back of Australia’s driest September on record and one of the country’s hottest springs.

A bureau spokesperson said an interplay of natural drivers like the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, a positive Indian Ocean Dipole and rising global air and ocean temperatures were influencing Australian climate patterns.