If you hate getting wet, it brings me extreme pleasure to announce the Binches of Meterology (BoM) reckon the third consecutive La Niña may actually be fucking off in early 2023. If the thought of getting wet makes you go hog wild, I don’t think this article is for you. Run along now. Toodle-oo.
Considering we’re in late October, I know “early 2023” is still a wee while away. The prospect of a sopping wet Christmas is also enough to flatten anyone’s pavlova. But if we want to be glass half full optimists, at least there’s kinda an end in sight. Let’s stay positive, people!
The BoM shared its wisdom in a climate driver update released on Tuesday. It forecasted a return of the neutral phase of the single climate phenomenon that La Niña falls in. It’s called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are three phases of the phenomenon.
There’s La Niña, which is wet and rainy; El Niño, which is basically La Niña’s hot and arid ex-husband; and the neutral phase, where neither of these climate menaces are rearing their ugly heads and the weather is fine and normal. The BoM thinks this phase will make its comeback in early 2023. It’s basically the Blink-182 reunion tour of the climate world.
Shayne McGregor from Monash University and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes told The Guardian the neutral phase should’ve kicked in by February next year.
“It suggests… the event might peak a little bit earlier than the normal December–January [period],” he said.
McGregor also explained how ENSO cycles through its different phases.
“There are typically two neutral years for every El Niño and La Niña,” he said.
“Quite often an El Niño will transition [directly] into a La Niña, but La Niñas don’t typically transition straight into El Niño.
“Looking at the statistics of past events, it does suggest that we would more likely have a neutral event next year.”
There’ll still be a shitload of rain hitting the eastern states until the neutral phase saves us, though. I’m sorry to (literally) rain on your parade.
The BoM also reckons the negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) will skedaddle by December. Essentially, this is another weather event that causes rain. No, I will not be answering further questions.
“Models indicate that the negative IOD is likely to persist into late spring before rapidly decaying,” the BoM said.
“When La Niña and negative IOD conditions combine, the likelihood of above average rainfall over Australia is further increased, particularly for the eastern half of the continent.”
And there you have it! Time to take off my weather girl hat and don a dashing raincoat, ‘cos it looks like shit will still be stormy for a wee while.