Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Heavy rain and floods forecast for Australia as La Nina sets in

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Eastern Australia continues to cop heavy rain as storms lash large parts of the country. Picture: Supplied via Bureau of Meteorology
Eastern Australia continues to cop heavy rain as storms lash large parts of the country. Picture: Supplied via Bureau of Meteorology

Australians on the east coast are set for another sodden weekend as a massive weather system sweeps across the country.

Rain and thunderstorms are set to bring another round of heavy falls across large parts of Australia that could further exacerbate flooding already occurring in overflowing creeks and river systems.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast more heavy rain for the eastern two-thirds of the country to end the week after a month of already record-breaking falls.

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The bureau says the past month has been one of the top 10 wettest Novembers in Australia’s history since records began, with Canberra recording its wettest November ever.

Very heavy rainfall swept across the eastern states on Thursday night and multiple flood warnings have been issued across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

The bureau’s senior meteorologist Jonathan How said Bundaberg was drenched by an “absolutely incredible” downpour of 190mm overnight, with more on the way for most of eastern Australia.

“Unfortunately, this wet weather will continue for the rest of today and into the weekend. We’ll see plenty of showers, storms, through eastern Victoria, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane and the Gold Coast as well,” he told Sunrise on Friday.

The Gold Coast is on flood watch as heavy rain continues to fall. Picture: Tertius Pickard
The Gold Coast is on flood watch as heavy rain continues to fall. Picture: Tertius Pickard

He said the rain would ease off slightly on Saturday but continue on Sunday mainly about the NSW east coast.

“It will be very windy for those in Sydney as well, with very dangerous surf conditions,” he said.

Mr How said people living right across the country should keep an eye on the weather bureau for any updates to its weather warnings, especially with flooded rivers in the eastern states.

Australians hoping to go to the beach this summer will have to get ready for the rain. Picture: John Grainger
Australians hoping to go to the beach this summer will have to get ready for the rain. Picture: John Grainger

The bureau is forecasting a wetter and more humid than usual summer at least until early next year for eastern Australia.

Most of this part of the country is set for warm, humid temperatures, but Sydney is in for a cooler than average summer at least in the beginning of the season.

Joggers attempted a morning run at Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Friday despite the saturating weather. Picture: John Grainger
Joggers attempted a morning run at Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Friday despite the saturating weather. Picture: John Grainger

The bureau earlier this week declared a La Nina weather event was under way in the tropical Pacific, driving the wet, stormy and humid weather.

The La Nina weather phenomenon, linked to the shifting pattern of sea surface temperatures through the Pacific and Indian oceans, affects rainfall and temperature variations in Australia.

Typically, it is associated with heavier rainfall for eastern, northern and central parts of the country as well as a higher likelihood of tropical cyclones.

During La Nina, waters in the central or eastern tropical Pacific become cooler than normal, persistent southeast to northwesterly winds strengthen in the tropical and equatorial Pacific and clouds shift to the west, closer to Australia.

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