Extreme Weather on the Sunshine Coast

Extreme Weather on the Sunshine Coast

Apr 10, 2024

If you thought it's been a bit wet lately, you are right!

Let's take a look at the numbers and then at what those numbers and these weather patterns can mean for your local farmers.


The Stats:

2024 has been wetter, hotter and more humid then long term averages here on the Sunshine Coast.

In fact, the 2024 summer (1225mm) was nearly as wet as the year 2022 (1368mm) when we saw massive flooding events back to back. This is a huge 500mm above long term average rainfall!

Interestingly, we have had the same amount of rain days (75 out of 122 days) in the same period 2022 compared to 2024. The long term average is just 44 days. That means that we are close to double the amount of rain days as can be expected in a typical year during this same time period.

Temperature records were smashed with maximum temperatures on average 0.6 degrees higher over the long term average and minimum average temperatures much worse at 1.2 degrees over long term averages.

Humidity was also 1-2% over the average.

The nitty gritty in numbers:

💧 Compared to 2022 we have had just 10% less rain. 2022 = 1368mm compared with 2024 = 1225mm.
💧 Still more than 500mm over the average rainfall.
💧 Same number of rain days for the same period in 2022 and 2024.
💧 Maximum temperature is 0.6 degrees above long term average.
💧 Minimum temperatures are 1.24 degrees above long term average.
💧 Number of rain days nearly double the long term average.

What this data tells us is that so far 2024 has been nearly as much as a disaster for farmers as the 2022 year when we had the floods.


Why does the weather effect farming so much?

🌱 High Maximum temperatures burn off crops and encourage disease.

🌱 High Minimum temperatures can be even worse because it doesn't allow the plants to cool down and rest overnight. Furthermore high minimum temperatures negatively affect germination rates and also encourage disease and pests.

🌱 Heavy rainfall can cause erosion and crop damage.

🌱 An increase in the number of rain days mean there are fewer hours of sunlight to help plants grow.

🌱 An increase in humidity not only encourages disease but also promotes fungal growth, both good and bad.


Overall, the numbers are confronting. When you combine the increased rainfall, high temperatures, and decreased sunshine, growing anything becomes much more difficult than usual.

Supporting your local farmer through these challenging growing times, whether you're buying at your farmers market or through direct purchases from the business such as a box delivery, is one of the best ways you can help create a strong local economy.

Small scale farming is difficult as we deal with such variable weather, and we are hoping that here on the Sunshine Coast things settle soon so that we can continue to bring you the best of the harvest!