Getting ready for summer
By Mike Lollback – Manager, Advisory Services: Disaster Management
In the wake of the Cyclone Debbie Report, I will be working closely with members to achieve outcomes for improving community safety and capacity across all phases of disaster management.
The creation of this new position – Manager, Advisory Services: Disaster Management – highlights how important this complex and critical part of local government ‘business as usual’ is to the LGAQ.
Coming directly from the position of Manager of Disaster Operations and Planning, and Local Disaster Coordinator at Redland City Council, I have over 10 years’ Queensland local government experience. I am pleased to bring not only understanding of the disaster management space to the position, but also first-hand knowledge of the unique operating environment of local government.
Now is the time to “get ready”, ensuring we undertake preventative and preparedness work. Additionally, we need to work closely with our local and district disaster management groups to ensure that our multi-agency coordination and capacity is fully capable of dealing with even the most serious of events.
A short take on the 2017 Summer Outlook -
We have already seen some unique events as summer creeps up on us. In the last week of October record high temperatures and record rainfall were recorded at Ipswich and Bundaberg respectively. In late September, a series of storms and heavy rainfalls have already seen strong responses and activations of several Local Disaster Management Groups.
Tropic Cyclone Consultative Committee meetings continue, held by the Bureau of Meteorology and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, together with regional preparedness sessions.
The Eastern Pacific Ocean continues to cool towards a greater than 50% chance of La Niña developing. The late season onset La Niña (anticipated to be weak) means the dramatic rainfall seen in events like the 2011 flooding are unlikely. It should be remembered that 2011 was a record La Niña season that is well below likely to be repeated this season.
Daytime and overnight temperatures for November to January are likely to be warmer than average across Queensland.
A typical number of tropical cyclones are expected for the 2017/18 Tropical Cyclone Season (November- April) meaning we can expect 10 to 13 cyclones to form in oceans surrounding Australia. The eastern region average is around four cyclones.
At least one tropical cyclone per season has crossed the Australian coast since reliable records commenced in the mid-1970s.
In recent years, cyclones Debbie and Oswald highlighted that tropical lows resulting from cyclones, or in fact tropical lows that never intensify into cyclones can still cause widespread rainfall and dangerous flooding. These impacts can extend beyond the tropics into the mid-western and southern areas of the state.
One of the most useful tools in recent times has been the Bureau of Meteorology App. Look for the BoM App, free at both the Apple and Google stores.
You can reach Mike at Mike_Lollback@lgaq.asn.au 1300 542 700 or 0407 790 293.
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