The rain-bearing La Nina is expected to linger for a little longer, according to the BOM’s weekly climate driver bulletin.
The La Nina phenomenon peaked in January and has been gradually fading, but it currently appears that the climatic driver will last until late October.
For those living in already saturated catchments, this is bad news.
The natural cycle for a La Nina, according to Andrew Watkins, head of long-range forecasts at the Bureau of Meteorology, is for it to break down throughout the autumn.
Until the trade winds picked up a few weeks ago, everything seemed to be on track this year.
“That strengthening of the trade winds has gone and caused a cooling of the surface in the tropical Pacific and so we’ve seen some of the numbers go back down into La Niña territory,” he said.
When will La Nia come to an end?
There is no guarantee that the La Nina will come to an end any time soon.
We are now in our second La Nina year in a row, and three in a run, as Dr. Santoso points out, is entirely probable.
Trade winds remain stronger than average in the western Pacific, delaying further weakening of the #LaNiña over the past fortnight.
Latest outlooks indicate a return to neutral #ENSO levels late in the southern hemisphere #autumn.
Learn more: https://t.co/mmoBP9NyDE pic.twitter.com/85SliZRQ5T
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) March 15, 2022
“It has happened before,” he said.
“In 1998, 1999, 2000 there were three consecutive La Niñas and in 1973, 1974, 1975.”
However, a three-peat would be unusual, and all but one of the models used by the BOM to forecast the La Nina are suggesting a return to neutral conditions by June, according to Dr. Watkins.