Australia: La Niña extreme weather situation declared
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Australia is in the midst of its worst storm seen in 150 years, according to weather forecasters. The country has been slammed with heavy downpours and now forecasters have said the nation is feeling the impacts of the La Nina weather phenomenon.
Parts of Australia have been hit by terrible storms with the nation recording its wettest November in 150 years.
Severe thunderstorms and relentless rain has lashed at the nation, causing flooding and travel chaos in many regions.
Most of the country has been hit by the intense weather with Brisbane recording its highest daily total of rainfall for November in 40 years on Wednesday at 4.8 inches (121mm).
This is just shy of the record monthly total of 6.7 inches (169mm).
Parts of New South Wales have already surpassed their wettest November in more than 100 years.
Orange in NSW’s Central Tablelands has seen its highest monthly rainfall since records began in 1870 with a total of 9.6 inches (243.2mm) recorded, as of Tuesday.
Forecasters predict this figure to rise with still one full week left in November.
Condobolin and Corwa, in the state’s central west, have also seen their heaviest rainfall this month with 5.2 inches (131.7mm) and 6.8 inches (173.2mm) of rain falling, respectively.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned Australians the intense weather is due to impact the country for the rest of the week.
Almost every state across Western Australia is likely to be deluged with heavy downpours, before conditions improve on Monday.
The unrelenting showers and storms have been a result of two tropical air masses, according to meteorologist Jackson Browne.
These air masses are set to collide in the wake of Cyclone Paddy which formed near Christmas Island.
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Mr Browne added Thursday, November 25, is likely to be the worst day for rainfall – with downpours expected to be heaviest in eastern parts of Australia then.
He said: “Widespread falls of 25mm to 100mm with higher amounts of thunderstorms are likely.
“Rainfall should extend along the east coast of Australia on Friday with conditions beginning to fine up for at least most of NSW and Victoria on Saturday.”
The intense rainfall this month has also caused havoc in many regions, with flooding having impacted some places.
Across New South Wales, several flood warnings have been issued, particularly around the Lachlan River and Namoi River areas, in the state’s central west, for the next 24 hours.
Forbes and Gunnedah have already been inundated with floods due to the heavy deluge of rain this week.
More flood warnings have been issued around the state and severe thunderstorms are predicted to impact Sydney over the next week.
Queensland will also be battered with heavy storms on Thursday, with the forecasters warning of the intense spells.
Australia declared a La Niña event has started across the country, for a second consecutive year, this week.
This weather phenomenon means there is a greater risk of floods and cyclones.
A La Niña can lead to significant weather changes in different parts of the world, but has yet to be declared by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It has, however, been confirmed by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, which said the event is underway in the Pacific.
In good news, this year’s La Niña event is expected to be weaker than last year’s, which was considered to be a “once in a century” event.
The Bureau of Meteorology said: “Climate models suggest this La Niña will be short-lived, persisting until the late southern hemisphere summer or early autumn 2022.”
The forecaster’s head of operational climate services, Dr Andrew Watkins said typically during La Niña events, rainfall becomes focused in the western tropical Pacific, leading to wetter than normal periods for eastern, northern and central parts of Australia.
He added: “La Niña also increases the chance of cooler than average daytime temperatures for large parts of Australia and can increase the number of tropical cyclones that form.
“La Niña is also associated with earlier first rains of the northern wet season, as we’ve observed across much of tropical Australia this year.”
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