After a two-summer reign of well, rain, the second La Niña event has officially come to an end, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) moving to a La Niña “watch” status. The good news, though, may be short lived. The BOM says this doesn’t necessarily mean drier days ahead, with the rest of winter pegged to be wetter than average and an ominous suggestion that La Niña may be back in spring.

Warmer than average waters around Australia – and an Indian Ocean Dipole (the IOD is the difference in sea-surface temperature between the western and eastern Indian Ocean, which affects the climate in surrounding countries such as Australia) that looks likely to swing negative – are to blame, according to BOM. It’s forecasting an 80 per cent chance of higher than usual rainfall in northern and eastern Australia between July and September.

For now the IOD is neutral, but BOM modelling suggests a negative IOD is likely to form in the coming months. That means rain into spring, when there’s also a 50 per cent chance La Niña will be back for an unwelcome third act.

This is all very bad news for those on the east coast, where destructive floods and a sodden summer and autumn left many with wet-weather fatigue.

Rainfall over greater Sydney during autumn was two to three times above average, culminating in the highest autumn rainfall total on record. Annual averages were reached in the first week of April after a soul-crushing 16 days of straight rain in March. It had been more than 100 years since anything close was experienced by the harbour city, and that was a comparatively brief 10-day deluge in 1908.

BOM says that climate change continues to influence our weather, saying Australia’s climate has warmed by 1.47 degrees Celsius since records began in 1910, and a trend towards high intensity, short duration rain events is likely to continue.