Hot, dry weather predicted for next three months
A HOT and dry forecast for the 12 months ahead is the worst possible news for farmers in the wider Gladstone region after what they label as a "disastrous" 2014.
The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted 70% El Nino conditions in 2015.
A heatwave is expected on January 20 and hot dry conditions are predicted to continue for the next three months.
Cattle farmer at Turkey Station and former Miriam Vale shire mayor John Bell said it was horrible news following the year just finished.
"It virtually was a drought until the third week of March. It was a very late and short wet season," he said.
"It rained heavily in March, but too much in a short period of time isn't what we need."
But, he said, farmers were always looking to the better times ahead.
"Nothing is ever easy. Most people are hoping," he said.
Last year the annual rainfall in Gladstone was 20% up on the historical average (since 1909), with 1022mm recorded.
BOM technical officer Brendan Bradford said last year a solid amount of rain fell, in comparison to what is predicted for this year.
"We had above-average rainfall last year and we are predicting below average rainfall this year," he said.
"Unfortunately we have a trend towards El Nino as we move a little closer towards those drier conditions."
Mr Bell said he was still holding out hope for more rain this wet season.
"The BOM are not predicting a big wet season, which could be a little disappointing," he said.
"There are some monsoonal rains up north, but they are too far north to reach us."
Mr Bradford said the monsoonal rain could bring some relief.
But what does it mean?
- An El Nino is an extensive period of cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in Australia and an increased probability of drier conditions.
- A heatwave is three days or more of high maximum and minimum temperatures, unusual for that location.