/ 24 November 2021

La Niña is back with a wet hug for Oz

Image source: Flickr
Image source: Flickr

Put your brolly on standby and have your gumboots at the ready – the Bureau of Meteorology has declared La Niña is here bringing wet and cooler than usual conditions for eastern and northern Australia over summer. Last year saw La Niña deliver 3 catastrophe-level floods making this year’s cycle a double dose – that hasn’t happened since the summers of 2010-11 and 2011-12.

La Niña (aka Little Girl in Spanish) and her brother El Niño (Little Boy) are the climate drivers that make up the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and it has the strongest influence on the annual changes in Australia’s weather. La Niña occurs when there’s cooler than average waters on the Oz-side of the Pacific Ocean. That results in stronger than average trade winds from the equator and more moisture over northern and eastern Australia. El Niño is the reverse = drier and hotter conditions. The ENSO cycle affects most of Oz, barring Western Australia and western South Australia. Those parts have their own thing going on with the Indian Ocean Dipole. Let’s treat ourselves to that another time…

No. You can never put the sunscreen away, even on overcast days. Sheesh… But if you’re asking how much summer east coasters will get, the official take on that will be issued by the weather nerds at the Bureau tomorrow. What was said yesterday was that this year’s La Niña is not predicted to be as strong as last year’s, so that might be fine depending on where you are. But for areas that have seen a lot of rain in recent times, even a bit more rain could mean severe flooding. That’s playing out this week, with parts of South Australia, NSW, Victoria and Queensland being issued with flood warnings with more rain predicted. La Niña can also bring more cyclones to Northern Oz, so that’s another thing to look out for. If you have any spare cash lying around, it could be time to invest in an ark – and fake tan shares…

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