Weather bureau says prediction of rain not wrong

THE weather bureau says its forecast of rain across Brisbane last week was not wrong, despite most of the city missing out.

Showers and thunderstorms were forecast to hit Brisbane for most of last week but some residents were left wondering why they didn't receive any rain at all.

The Bureau of Meteorology gave Brisbane about a 70 per cent chance of rain for much of last week.

Despite the grass remaining parched, the bureau says it was right and residents misunderstood the forecast.

"(The likelihood of rain) is determined by the dictating weather patterns on the day," senior forecaster Michelle Berry said.

"On those days that were given a 70 per cent chance of rain, the forecast was for 0.2mm of rain to fall (not heavy falls). There seems to be a bit of a slight misunderstanding about it."

An unexpected, but not unusual, weather event in the Coral Sea saw a trough stay off shore over the ocean rather than take its predicted path towards the Queensland coast. This meant Brisbane's CBD recorded just 3mm of rain for the week.

The rain tipped for last week.
The rain tipped for last week.

Ms Berry said the misunderstanding came partly from Queensland's "convective", or "hit and miss", rain activity.

"Shower activity can be on and off around the southeast because of the convective nature of storms," she said.

"It's not like Victoria, where there's widespread rainfall. (In Queensland) not every suburb will get rain during a storm. That's just the nature of convection."

Finley Supanz, 7, from Burleigh Waters isn't sure if he will need is umbrella after the BOM continues to say to prepare for wet weather. Picture: Adam Head
Finley Supanz, 7, from Burleigh Waters isn't sure if he will need is umbrella after the BOM continues to say to prepare for wet weather. Picture: Adam Head

Several industries that rely on the weather have said life would be easier with more accurate rain forecasts.

"It definitely creates its challenges having rain forecast and then missing out," AgForce chief Grant Maudsley said.

"The more accuracy the better because farmers may well cancel their cattle sales or start planting their crop if rain was on the way. (Rainfall forecasts) are frustrating, but then storms are pretty variable."

Queensland Seafood Industry Association president Keith Harris said stocks were dependent on the weather, so "rain dictates the terms of when we can go to work".

"We're in the lap of the Gods. If there are thunderstorms predicted, fishermen aren't too keen on going out to fish," he said.

Master Builders Queensland deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell said builders often looked to complete indoor jobs if rain was forecast. "Weather has an extraordinary impact on finished products," he said.

"Builders keep an eye on the weather to determine what jobs to do."

Parts of Queensland continue to endure serious to severe rainfall deficiencies.

Bundaberg was officially listed drought declared on the weekend.

The weather bureau yesterday issued its first drought statement since last spring, noting below-average rainfall for areas between Rockhampton and Cunnamulla and east to the coast.

More hot weather is expected around the Sunshine State this week, including temperatures up to about 40C in the west.

Brisbane will continue to see warm and sunny conditions for the rest of the week, with a slight chance of rain this weekend.

News Corp Australia


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