Tropical forecast for Tassie

ANOTHER tropical season has been predicted in the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest long-range forecast, with Tasmania expected to see a season of warm weather and higher-than-average rainfall.

Senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, Jonathan Howe, said like much of the Eastern seaboard of Australia, Tasmania should expect higher temperatures and higher rainfalls than usual this coming season, a trend that has formed over the course of 2022.

“There’s a high chance of above average rainfall for northern and eastern Tasmania this summer, Mr Howe said in his report.

“Higher than average stream flows are expected to continue across northern Tasmania and where soil and catchments are wet, and streamflow’s are high, any rainfall increases the risk of flooding and also increases the risk of landslides and tree falls in areas of steep terrain and already wet soils.” Higher temperatures are expected too, with heat waves expected to last longer and bring greater humidity, something that has been flagged as a potential health risk.

Sea temperatures are expected to be warmer while the conditions point to an “above normal bushfire potential” for this summer.

Thirlstane farmer and chair of the TFGA Vegetable Council, Nathan Richardson, said the forecast weather made for an unpredictable season.

“It’s an interesting forecast for what is, for a lot of farmers, the money months, Mr Richardson said.

“If they’re predicting greater chance of above average rainfall, it’s not what people want to hear, it could also mean a higher disease pressure with that higher moisture and heat.

“On the other hand, higher temperature is encouraging, it means things will grow.

“But considering where everyone is at the moment, we need a break from the rain, I think most people will be happy to see the end of this La Niña.”

Mr Richardson also noted the wetter months may cause disruptions to the harvest of crops across the season.

“If people can get their spuds in the ground, they should be fine, it’s the small seed industries, the pyrethrum, grass seeds and poppies that are harvesting in the summer that may have to contend with the rains.

“These forecasts are getting more and more accurate, let’s just hoping they’re wrong with these predictions.

“But in the end, we are farmers, we just do what we do and deal with the weather on a daily basis.”