Could this be the end of Queensland's droughts?

THE Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the El Niño effect will diminish this winter and the change may well bring much needed rain to inland Queensland as 85 per cent of the state remains in drought.

"International climate models indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to cool, with six of eight models suggesting La Niña is likely to form during the austral winter (June-August)," a BOM update read yesterday.

And with the phenomenon coming to an end it's expected the state will also return to more typical rainfall patterns. 

"Nine of the ten driest winter-spring periods on record for eastern Australia occurred during El Niño years," information from the BOM states.

"In the Murray-Darling Basin, winter-spring rainfall averaged over all El Niño events since 1900 was 28% lower than the long-term average, with the severe droughts of 1982, 1994, 2002 and 2006 all associated with El Niño."

 

This map shows reduced rainfall during El Nino events
This map shows reduced rainfall during El Nino events

The other big change is El Niño is typically associated with less cyclonic activity while during La Niña years we often get more storms.

"On average, there are fewer tropical cyclones in the Australian region during El Niño years," the BOM states.

"This is particularly true around Queensland, where cyclones are half as likely to cross the coast during El Niño years compared to neutral years.

"This means a decreased likelihood of major damage and flooding related to strong winds, high seas and heavy rains associated with tropical cyclones."



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