Drought conditions in north-west Queensland. Picture: Supplied
Drought conditions in north-west Queensland. Picture: Supplied

Get ready for a hellish summer

CONDITIONS for drought-stricken farmers are set to get worse before they improve, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.

With Queensland struggling through one of the ­driest summers on record earlier this year, BOM State Manager Bruce Gunn said there was an increased chance of below-average rainfall approaching.

"El Nino … is the phenomena that causes the east coast of Australia to undergo hotter and drier weather conditions. It is a regular visitor to Australia, about one in four years on average is an El Nino year, two in four are neutral and one in four is the wetter side of things, the La Nino," he said.

"The chances for an El Nino, by our determination, are increased (this summer)."

The percentage of drought-declared land in the state has fallen 31 per cent over the past 12 months to 57 per cent on the back of rainfall in north Queensland throughout Autumn.

Mr Gunn said while Queensland's outlook was not as dire as that of NSW, the impacts of an El Nino were not necessarily linked to the severity of the weather event.

"You can have weak El Ninos with severe impacts, you can have strong El Ninos with only moderate impacts," he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday said Agriculture Minister Mark Furner would present a submission to Cabinet next week for possible improvements to aid.

"We allocated over $34 million in this year's state Budget, but we want to make sure that our effort is complimenting that of the Federal Government's," she said.