Wild weather ahead this summer: BOM

BRACE yourself - it's going to be a cruel, cruel summer.

With experts certain we're already experiencing the effects of climate change, those who sweltered through November's recent hot weather will have to brave 15 more heat wave days during the next few months.

Emergency services, Bureau of Meteorology and council representatives met at The J in Noosa Heads on Thursday for the annual storm season meeting, charting the weather for the summer months and advising how to prepare the community.

BOM is predicting a dry summer, with above average temperatures, flash flooding, an extended fire season, and a strong chance for a higher number of cyclones.

Queensland Bureau of Meteorology weather services manager Richard Wardle said summer would be dry and hotter than usual.

"The outlook for the next three months, (is) drier conditions for Noosa, and warmer than average conditions," Mr Wardle said.

He said a wet winter and spring had resulted in soaked ground, setting conditions for flash flooding.

"Any rain we do get can cause potentially riverine flooding, because there's nowhere for the run-off to go," Mr Wardle said.

"With severe thunderstorms, if we have those intense rains in short periods of time, that can lead to flash flooding."

Along with the potential for flooding, the rain during the middle of the year has also resulted in fresh bushland undergrowth, meaning a higher risk for bushfires.

"There has been growth around because of those winter rains - there's an increased bush fire risk," Mr Wardle said.

"Bushfire season could potentially run a bit longer than usual."

BOM predicts a 58% chance of more than the average number of cyclones this season, with up to six or more cyclones expected for Queensland.

The main concern for emergency services is the number of heat waves expected as the risk of fire danger increases, and the effect hot temperatures can have on unacclimatised visitors.

"Heat waves are becoming more common now for Queensland," Mr Wardle said.

"Somewhere like Noosa where you've got a transient population coming in, if they're not used to the heat, it can cause quite a bit of heat stress. That's a risk."

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Sunshine Coast zone commander Mark Stuart said heat waves could affect the public in more ways than one.

"Heat waves can affect members of the community in other ways apart from fire," Mr Stuart said.

"So that's checking on elderly neighbours and keeping pets cool."

Mr Wardle said the increasing number of heat waves was directly related to rises in global temperature.

"Looking at a period of 1911, to now, more than half of those heat waves have occurred in the last 20 years," Mr Wardle said.

 

"We are seeing the impacts of (climate change) in heat waves."


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