Australia warned to brace for another summer of heavy rain and floods due to rare ‘triple La Nina’
Australia looks set to endure a third consecutive summer of torrential rainfall and flooding as new research suggests deteriorating conditions in La Niña are becoming the norm.
The lead researcher of a large-scale study of ocean currents altered by global warming, told the Daily Mail Australia that the changes that are making wet, cooler weather more likely for Australia are already underway.
Dr Matthew England said new work from climate modeling centers around the world indicated that an extremely rare ‘triple La Niña’ would likely be back before the summer of 2022-23.
Weather conditions in La Niña sometimes last two years, but three is rare and the last happened 20 years ago. Warmer, drier El Niño patterns often last several years.
Australia looks set for a third consecutive summer of heavy rain and flooding as new research supports deteriorating conditions in La Niña becoming the norm
Dr Matthew England said new work from climate modeling centers around the world indicated that an extremely rare ‘triple La Niña’ would likely be back before the summer of 2022-23. (Photo a house in Lismore, northern NSW, engulfed in flames while flooded)
dr. England said the dreaded La Niña weather patterns are likely to become more frequent and only more severe
dr. England said the dreaded La Nina weather patterns will not only become more frequent, but also become more severe.
‘They don’t always get it right, but their first predictions say this La Niña won’t go away [and will be here] here all summer long,” said Dr. England to Daily Mail Australia.
Mike McPhaden, a senior researcher with the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, echoed the prediction.
“This has the potential to be a triple dip in La Niña that could go into effect in early 2023,” he said. the guard†
A report from the University of New South Wales, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, revealed that the conveyor belt of ocean currents is beginning to ‘slow down’, causing prolonged La Niña weather patterns (image pictured)
Mr England’s University of NSW team found that melting sea ice prevented the circulation of vital ocean currents between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, a process that usually draws heat from the oceans just south of the equator.
If the heat does not disappear, it rises, creating stronger trade winds and warmer waters in our region. This combines to produce La Niña conditions.
“The strong winds blowing from Peru and Latin America to Australia are piling up warm water on our side of the Pacific. That will bring a lot of rain for Australia and it will basically give us La Nina conditions,” said Mr England.
Over the past century, warmer, drier El Niño weather patterns have been more common than wetter and cooler La Niñas, but Australia could go for third consecutive wet season
Australia’s most expensive natural disasters
1- East Sydney Hailstorm (1999, $5.57 Billion)
2- Cyclone Tracey (1974, $5.04 billion)
3- Cyclone Dinah (1967, $4.69 billion)
4- East Coast Floods (2022, $4.3 Billion
5- Newcastle earthquake (1989, $4.24 billion).
Source: Insurance Council of Australia.
This could be a repeat of the torrential rains that led to catastrophic flooding on Australia’s east coast from late February to early April.
The report speculated that if the pattern of the ‘Atlantic meridional revolving circulation’ continues to slow and collapse, La Niña could in fact become ‘the norm’ for Australia.
Mr England told Daily Mail Australia ‘this is already happening’.
‘We will still get El Nino patterns in the future, but [the phenomenon] piling up the chances of more La Niñas.’
Mr England said “La Niñas is also predicted to intensify around the world”, potentially causing even more severe flooding.
“Australians may think summers in La Niña are cool and wet. But under the long-term warming trend of climate change, the biggest impact will be rainfall, especially in the east,” the report said, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
In Australia, El Niño patterns generally produce less rain and warmer temperatures and are often associated with severe droughts.
Over the past century, they have become more common than the wetter and cooler La Niñas.
Widespread flooding in southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales engulfed towns and regional centers including Brisbane, Logan, Lismore, Ballina, Gympie, Grafton and Maryborough.
In the three days to February 28, Greater Brisbane fell 676.8mm of rain – the largest total of seven days on record.
The 2022 floods were the fourth costliest natural disaster in Australia. However, the total cost of the flood was much higher than the insurance costs, at least $8 billion
On March 1, 30 sites in southeastern Queensland received more than three feet of rain, making the flooding the worst ever in the region.
Parts of the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, Toowoomba, Ipswich, the Gold Coast, Murwillumbah, Grafton, Byron Bay, the NSW Central Coast and parts of Sydney were also heavily flooded.
This month, the Insurance Council of Australia said the 2022 floods cost more than $4.3 billion from 216,465 insurance claims, making it the fourth costliest natural disaster in Australia.
However, the total cost of the flood was much higher than the insurance costs, at least $8 billion.
The cost of repairs to just one city, Lismore, was estimated at nearly $1 billion.
Property damage accounted for 86.4 percent of the claims.
La Nina v El Nino: the difference
La Niña (happening in 2020, 2021 and forecast for 2022) usually means:
- More rainfall in much of Australia
- Cooler daytime temperatures (south of the tropics)
- Warmer nighttime temperatures (in the north)
- Shift in extreme temperatures
- Reduced frost risk
- Greater numbers of tropical cyclones
- Early start of monsoon
El Niño (last experienced in 2016) usually means:
- less rain
- Warmer temperatures
- Shift in extreme temperatures
- Increased frost risk
- Decreased number of tropical cyclones
- Later onset of monsoon
- Increased fire risk in South East Australia
- Reduced snow depth in the Alps
Source: Bureau of Meteorology