It has been eight years since Australia had its last La Niña summer, which was recorded as one of the wettest periods in our history. Heavy rainfall and flooding continued for two years across the country.
In basic terms, La Niña is a natural phenomenon caused by strong equator trade winds that warm up that surface waters in the western pacific and north of Australia. The warmer water temperatures induce rising air, cloud development and therefore, more rainfall.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) announced that the phenomenon is now active and will continue into January 2021.
Expect a wet summer which will continue into late January. It will bring with it, cooler days, cooler nights and higher than average rainfall. The last La Niña summer had widespread flooding across the country from 2010 to 2011. Although, officials from BOM say this year is likely to be less intense.
There is an increased chance of severe tropical cyclones. There were multiple cyclones during the former two-year La Niña period, but the most devastating was cyclone Yasi. A powerful and destructive cyclone which impacted northern Queensland in 2011.
Yes, more mozzies. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in wet conditions and when they hatch, they spend the first week of their life in and around the water before heading off to latch onto us. More rainfall leads to multiplying of the mosquito population.
La Niña is the counterpart to El Niño, which is the hot and dry season. Officials from BOM say La Niña could last for up to two years, so it’s time to unpack the umbrellas and stock up on the mozzie repellent.