Changes in temperature and rainfall
By 2035 the Gatton region is likely to experience larger increases in annual temperature than other vegetable growing areas. Annual maximum and minimum temperatures are projected to increase by between 0.7 to 1.4°C, and 0.8 to 1.2°C, respectively, especially during the cooler months of May – August. By 2035 the one-year-in-ten mean monthly maximum for January is projected to exceed 33.7°C and days above 40°C will increase from 0.8 to 1.2 days per year.
Rainfall projections indicate little change overall, although there is likely to be greater variability in rainfall. That is, more severe droughts followed by intense wet periods.
Potential effects on crops
- Higher winter temperatures are likely to reduce the winter window for current varieties of lettuce and brassicas
- The current harvest window of April to October is likely to be reduced by 1-2 weeks
- Late summer rains may impact on establishment of winter crops
- Although rainfall is not likely to change, the recent long drought in the Lockyer Valley substantially reduced groundwater availability; such events may happen more frequently
Click HERE for a table showing the effects of changes in average temperature of +1oC, +2oC, +3oC, +4oC as well as the impact of 5 days over 35oC for major crops grown in Gatton.
Note : These descriptions relate to the temperatures that the crops experience and not to changes in monthly average temperatures. An increase of 1oC in monthly average temperature can easily mean increases of 4oC or more on particular days.