The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has raised the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Outlook to “alert”, meaning there’s a 70 per cent chance of us experiencing a third wet summer in a row.
Four out of the seven climate models used to predict the phenomenon now suggest old mate La Niña will be back for a third time, hitting us early-to-mid-spring.
Its three-month outlook is guided by Pacific sea surface temperatures, which have cooled over the past six weeks, as well as cloudiness near the dateline. Meanwhile, the negative state of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) continues, and indicators that it is in full-swing were at some of their strongest last week. The IOD can be blamed for the particularly wet winter we’ve had so far.
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Northern and eastern Australia will cop the brunt of La Niña’s impacts, which include above-average rainfall. “With wet soils, high rivers and full dams, and the outlook for above-average rainfall, elevated flood risk remains for eastern Australia,” the BOM said in a statement.
“The Bureau is advising of very high chances of wet conditions over eastern Australia for the next three months. Should a La Niña event be established in the Pacific Ocean, the wet conditions will persist into summer.”