Wet summer set to continue, hot nights ahead

 

Australia's wet summer is set to stretch into autumn with above-average rainfall and hotter nights forecast for most of the nation over the next three months.

The weather bureau said La Nina had past its peak but still remained active, which meant rainfall totals were likely to be higher from February to April, particularly in northeast Queensland.

Senior climatologist Felicity Gamble said there was also an increased risk of widespread flooding in eastern and northern Australia.

She said an average to above-average number of tropical cyclones and tropical lows were expected for the remainder of the northern wet season.

"But models suggest La Nina is likely to break down during autumn with a return to neutral conditions by winter," Ms Gamble said.

"The rainfall signal starts to weaken in April, consistent with the expected decay of La Nina."

 

February to April rainfall is likely to be above average for northeast Queensland and much of Australia. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology
February to April rainfall is likely to be above average for northeast Queensland and much of Australia. Picture: Bureau of Meteorology

 

Along with wetter months, the weather bureau has also forecast hotter nights for almost all of Australia and warmer than average daytime temperatures in Tasmania and much of the nation's coastline.

Ms Gamble said the Australian summer had so far been cooler and wetter than usual for most of the country, but the potential for bushfires and heatwaves remained.

She said an active La Nina and warmer waters to the north and west of Australia had contributed to the recent above-average rainfall across parts of the country.

 

February to April is expected to be wetter than average. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
February to April is expected to be wetter than average. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

 

"Summer rainfall to date has been mostly above average with three cyclones in the Australian region and several tropical lows bringing widespread rainfall to much of the country," she said.

"On January 18, severe storms in southeast Queensland brought more than 100mm in less than an hour to East Brisbane.

"But on the west coast, southern Western Australia has had a relatively dry summer so far with ongoing bushfires.

 

 

"Daytime temperature have generally been close to or cooler than average for the summer to date, but far western Western Australia has seen some persistent heat."

It comes as Victoria braces for massive storms and heavy rainfall on Friday with up to 90mm forecast in some areas.

A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall, a flood watch and road weather alert has been issued as a band of showers and thunderstorms cross the state.

jack.paynter@news.com.au

Originally published as Wet summer set to continue, hot nights ahead


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