UPDATE 21/4/22: I hope you’ve done your washing Sydney pals. We may have seen our last nice rain-free day for a good while, I fear.
Sydney is currently facing rain until at least the end of April so there is simply no rest for the sodden.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) we’re going to get rain every day for the rest of April. So nine (9) whole days of rain. Time to get friendly with your local laundromat!
BOM meteorologist Miriam Bradbury told the Sydney Morning Herald that the rain would last ’til “well into next week”.
“There’s no guarantee of a beautiful, sunny day for the end of April, but the weather will do what the weather will do, unfortunately,” Bradbury said.
If there’s one thing to take away from this info, it’s definitely time to whip out your raincoat and fuzzy trackies.
Friday is predicted to be the wettest day this week with up to 10 mm of rain predicted.
It’s not just Sydney facing bad weather. The BOM has warned of potential flooding in Queensland from Friday.
⚠️Flood Watch area extended further south to include coastal catchments from the #Daintree to #WhitsundayCoast and #Townsville area. Areas of minor flooding likely from Friday. Higher levels and at least moderate flooding possible at isolated locations. https://t.co/CQJkcamqzO pic.twitter.com/10jLyAufo5
— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) April 21, 2022
Queensland pals, make sure to keep your eyes on flash flooding warnings!
Earlier this year it was predicted that La Niña would last until May. Time to start mould-proofing your sharehouse. Again.
ORIGINAL 5/3/22: Bad news, lads. There’s a chance that the shit rainy weather won’t properly clear up till August. At least all this rain means you have an excuse to invest in a really cute pair of gumboots.
With serious floods wreaking havoc across the country and deluges of rain plundering Australia’s East Coast, we’re all wondering when exactly we can expect a dry day.
Please, I just need to wash my sheets. According to experts though, there’s a chance that the wet weather could plague us until well into winter.
Why will the wet weather last so long?
It turns out that Ms La Niña, my worst nemesis, is predicted to end in May. But after May is winter (famously), when much of the East Coast usually experiences its wettest weather.
So basically, our soggy spring and summer could be followed by an equally wicked winter.
Dr Nandini Ramesh from the University of Sydney told the ABC that it could be a while before Sydney folk are basking in the sun.
“Forecasts for the La Niña event say that it’s going to persist until May,” she said.
“But then the wintertime is when we get most of our rain.”
Plus, we can’t really confidently predict when exactly La Niña will abandon our shores. Weather, she’s a fickle beast.
What about the hot, sweaty temperatures?
According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM)’s climate outlook, both rainfall and temperatures are predicted to be higher than the median until at least May.
Cool! Good! Love! I’m terrified of climate change!
“March to May rainfall is likely to be above median for parts of central and eastern Australia,” the BOM said.
“March to May maximum temperatures are likely to be above median for most of Australia. Only a small area of the central NSW coastline is likely to have below median temperatures.”
It also reported that the minimum temps for March to May will probably be warmer than the median across Australia.
While the south-east of Queensland is dealing with horrific floods, north and central Queensland is currently undergoing a serious heatwave.
Laura Boekel, one of BOM’s senior forecasters, told the ABC that temperatures in the regions were firmly above average.
“Innisfail and Cairns is looking to be 36 degrees Celsius today, where their March average is 30.5C. So pretty significantly above average,” she said.
I’ll say it again: cool, cool, cool, cool.
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As put by the BOM in their climate forecast, both the temp and the rain is influenced by global warming.
“Australia’s climate has warmed by around 1.47°C for the 1910–2020 period. Rainfall across northern Australia during its wet season (October–April) has increased since the late 1990s,” it said.
“In recent decades there has been a trend towards a greater proportion of rainfall from high intensity short duration rainfall events, especially across northern Australia.”
What about those one-in-a-1000-year floods?
Severe flooding has devastated south-east Queensland and northern NSW.
According to the BOM, it’s really hard to predict weather events for into the future. But a spokesperson told the ABC that more major floods were “definitely” a possibility.
“Extreme weather events that we see really only start to show a signal on computer models at around about day seven,” they explained.
This might be confusing if you’ve seen chatter about the floods in NSW being “one-in-1000-year” events.
“This is a one in 1000 year event,” says NSW Premier Dom Perrottet.
Can we stop saying this? This is clearly not the case anymore with increasingly frequent volatile weather systems as climate change progresses #floods
— Amanda Copp (@AmandaCoppNews) March 1, 2022
Lisa Millar DO NOT tell us this is a one in a 1000 year flood #dom may have said it but it is just inaccurate. After our Qld 74 floods we were told 2011 was a once in a 100 year flood. Now 11 years later another.
— M J White (@pallisier) March 1, 2022
The one-in-1000-year storm signing off pic.twitter.com/3hB4JP72fw
— Scotty Mac (@Scotty__Mac) March 2, 2022
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet used the phrase when describing the flooding up in Lismore. The claim comes from a 2014 Lismore City Council Floodplain Risk Management Plan, as per 7News.
That phrase has an actual scientific meaning behind it — and it doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t see another flood for another 1000 years. Basically, it means that there’s a 0.1 per cent chance of a similar flood happening.
Obviously, though, that’s not how the phrase is read by most people.
Dr Tom Mortlock from Macquarie University told The Guardian why it was misleading.
“It implies we would be waiting another 1,000 years before we see another flood of this magnitude again,” he said, pointing out that Sydney saw a similar flood last March. So really, there’s no excuse for the government not to plan for weather events like this.
What causes weather patterns like this?
While obviously La Niña has prompted a number of these specific weather events, climate change also plays an important role.
A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, which can lead to more rainfall in short, intense bursts — the kind of rain which increases the risk of flash flooding.
Plus, that extra heat also means extra energy for the “weather systems that generate intense rainfall”.
At the end of the day, one of the best ways of preventing more intense flooding and rainfall like the East Coast is currently experiencing is to actively fight climate change. Now someone let our politicians know, please.