Incredible footage shows amazing inland seas forming in the Australian outback after torrential rain – and a wet summer is on the way
- 100mm fain fell over central and western Queensland over the weekend
- Stunning photos show the formation of inland seas where the heavy rain fell
- Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a summer in La Nina, with more rain
- In the east and north, the rain falls above average throughout the spring
Astonishing images show the formation of inland seas in the Australian outback as a result of torrential rains, as forecasters warn that a very wet summer is on the way.
Heavy rain fell through central and western Queensland over the weekend and in some areas fell more than 100 mm.
Grazier Andrea Curro had a 80mm fall on her property near Longreach since Friday, with aerial photos showing flooded areas throughout.
Having had no rain since January, Ms. Curro said it’s the most rain they’ve seen in over a year.
Astonishing images show the formation of inland seas in the Australian outback due to torrential rains as forecasters warn of a very wet summer on the way
“It went from literally barren wasteland to 3.5 inches of rain,” she said The courier post.
“It looks like an ocean for a few days.”
Ms Curro said it was a tremendous relief after months of drought, with the rain setting her up for summer.
Longreach resident Jenna Goodman said the rain had been ‘quite heavy at times’ this weekend.
‘I think there is more out of town than in town, which is nice. No flooding, but hopefully we’ll get some good follow-up rain, ”she said.
The rain is falling as the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a warning saying there is a 70 percent chance that La Nina will develop this year, with cooler temperatures and above-average rainfall.
Increased rainfall and cloud cover means above average rainfall in the east and north, increasing the risk of flooding in some areas with wetter soils, lowering daytime temperatures.
“We also see an earlier start of the tropical cyclone season,” said a spokeswoman for BOM.
Heavy rain fell through central and western Queensland over the weekend and in some areas fell more than 100 mm
The rain comes when the Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning that there is a 70 percent chance of La Nina developing this year
The six wettest winter-spring periods ever recorded in Eastern Australia occurred during La Nina years.
In the Murray-Darling Basin, mean winter / spring rainfall across all 18 La Nina events since 1900 has been 22 percent higher than the long-term average, with the severe floods of 1955, 1988, 1998 and 2010 all linked to La Nina.
Unlike El Nino years, La Nina’s effects often continued into the warm months, the BOM said.
In eastern Australia, the average rainfall from December to March during La Nina years is 20 percent higher than the long-term average, with eight of the ten wettest such periods occurring during La Nina years.
Ms Curro said it was a tremendous relief after months of drought, with the rain setting her up for summer
Less affected by La Nina during the winter months, the east coast can experience severe flooding during the La Nina summers.
Of the 18 La Nina events since 1900, 12 have resulted in flooding, with the east coast experiencing twice as many severe flooding during La Nina years as in El Nino years.
Some areas of northern Australia will experience flooding during La Nina due to an increase in tropical cyclones.
The wettest years on record for Australia occurred during the strong 2010-2012 and 1974 La Nina events, with the 2010-12 La Nina event causing widespread flooding across Australia.
WHAT IS THE EL NINO PHENOMENON IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN?
El Niño and La Niña are the warm and cool phases (respectively) of a recurring climate phenomenon in the tropical Pacific – the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ‘ENSO’ for short.
The pattern can shift irregularly back and forth every two to seven years, each phase causing predictable disruptions in temperature, wind and precipitation.
These changes disrupt air movement and affect the global climate.
ENSO has three phases:
- El Niño: A warming of the ocean surface, or above mean sea surface temperatures (SST), in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. Over Indonesia, rainfall is reduced, while rainfall is increasing over the tropical Pacific. The low surface winds, which normally blow east to west along the equator, instead weaken or, in some cases, begin blowing the other direction west to east.
- La Niña: A cooling of the ocean surface, or below mean sea surface temperatures (SST), in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. Over Indonesia rainfall tends to increase, while rainfall tends to decline over the central tropical Pacific. The normal easterly winds along the equator are getting stronger.
- Neutral: Neither El Niño, nor La Niña. Often times, tropical Pacific SSTs are generally close to the average.
Maps showing the most common effects related to El Niño (‘warm episode’, top) and La Niña (‘cold episode’, bottom) from December to February, when both phenomena are usually strongest