Australians have been warned to prepare for a wilder climate with a dangerous combination of events that could occur for the first time in nearly 50 years.
A dangerous combination of weather events not seen together in nearly 50 years could see more Australian communities sinking under rising floodwaters during the remainder of 2022.
Sky News chief meteorologist Tom Saunders says signs have emerged showing that the current La Niña rain system impacting Australia could be joined by another system leading to increased rainfall: a negative dipole of the Indian Ocean (IOD).
“The last time a wet phase in India occurred at the same time as a repeat La Niña was 1974 and that was Australia’s wettest year in 122 years of data,” he said.
“In the history of Australia there have only been three years in which La Niña coincided with a negative dipole of the Indian Ocean during the winter and spring. All three of these years were among the top 10 ever recorded betting tests in Australia since 1900 “.
Saunders said an analysis of sea surface temperature anomalies from the Pacific showed that La Niña lasted longer than normal and that changes in ocean temperatures were altering global weather patterns.
“The Bureau of Meteorology expects this event to end towards the beginning of winter, however data analyzed by Sky News forecasters suggests a high risk of a third La Niña coming back again by the end of the year,” he said.
“This would be the first time we see a La Niña triple in 22 years. If it occurs it would be only the fourth triple since 1900.
“It’s been just over 18 months since the first La Niña was declared.”
Saunders says that while ocean temperatures were cooler than normal in the Pacific, in the Indian Ocean on the other side of Australia, the waters warmed near Indonesia.
“All forecasting models predict that this will continue, causing a negative IOD event to develop during the winter,” he said.
“A-IOD is basically the Indian Ocean version of La Niña, so the rain will come from all directions.
“Therefore expectations are for wetter-than-usual weather across much of Australia for the next six months, and BOMs forecasts for winter already show an 80% greater risk of above-average rain for around. half of the country “.
Originally published as Australian weather expert warns of increased risk of flooding in 2022