News

BOM: it’s official, we’re destined for a wet and rainy summer thanks to La Niña

BOM has spoken and the weather phenomenon of La Niña is officially upon us, meaning Australia is in for a wet and rainy next few months.

Earlier this month rumours that our old nemesis La Niña could be heading our way swirled amongst the weather forecasts. But alas, rumours have turned to facts. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has declared that La Niña is officially underway, changing its status from an alert to an active event, meaning that Australia will be in for a rainy spring and summer.

La Niña is a weather phenomenon that is characterised by increased rainfall, lower temperatures, and expansive cloud cover. For Australia (particularly in the north and east coast) there is a higher risk of widespread flooding, tropical storms, and general wetness.

BoM- La Nina
Picture: Conan Whitehouse

La Niña occurs every few years, with the last significant stretch taking place in 2010-2012, one of the strongest to date. This was Australia’s wettest two year period on record, with some of the most widespread and devastating flooding and storms impacting south-east Queensland.

“The impacts of La Niña can vary significantly between events. It is likely this year will not see the same intensity as the 2010-11 La Niña event, but is still likely to be of moderate strength,” BOM described of the incoming weather event.

Well, at least more rain equates to no bushfires this year, right? Unfortunately, BOM Manager of Climate Operations Dr Andrew Watkins says otherwise: “It reduces the fire risk a little, but of course southeastern Australia – one of the most fire-prone places in the world – we’re not going to get through a summer without seeing any fires.”

Sigh.