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Christmas weather: La Nina to affect Australia's climate during December



Just in time for Christmas, the weather has gifted Australia an early present with the declaration the country is now officially in the grip of La Nina.



But whether the La Nina climate driver will be a much cherished Christmas present, or the equivalent of yet another pair of socks, will depend very much on where you live.


While it’s a bit early to forecast exactly what the weather will be like on Christmas Day, La Nina is leading the meteorological boffins to firm up their thoughts on December’s weather — as well as for the rest of summer.


“We’re going to experience La Nina this Christmas. In December, the odds are over 60 per cent for a wetter, colder month in southern Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the populated areas of South Australia,” Dr Andrew Watkins, the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) Manager of Long Range Forecasts told news.com.au.


It could be cloudier too, with less blue skies. However, the most southerly capitals also have an increased chance of longer, warmer spells this Christmas. But these are unlikely to be, “short, sharp extreme temperature” spikes, Dr Watkins said.


The Australian Bureau’s La Nina confirmation came a bit later than the organisation’s US counterparts which require equatorial sea surface temperature to sink to 0.5C below average. The bar is higher, and colder`, for the BoM which says the same seas must be 0.8C below.


But the outcome for Australia is the same. During a La Nina, which has counter effects to El Nino, while equatorial seas get cooler, the waters north of Australia warm up. That helps to produce rising air, clouds and rainfall over northern and eastern parts.


“Typically, the La Nina impacts we see is that summers are cooler and a bit wetter,” Dr Watkins said.


“But this year’s a bit different as the La Nina is looking weak and it’s starting much later which is quiet unusual.”


The late La Nina, as well as colder than expected seas around Northern Australia, means the effects are unlikely to be at the extreme end of the scale and could even weaken further, bringing conditions closer to average.


Dr Watkins said several effects of La Nina were already being felt. The heatwaves and rains in Victoria and Tasmania had La Nina written all over them.


But there were subtler signs too, which could mean Bondi may not be the best location for a Christmas Day dip.


“Summer swimming has come early around Tasmania and Victoria with waters 3C warmer than usual but around Sydney, seas are 3C cooler so it’s a bit chilly. Port Phillip Bay is actually warmer than Sydney Harbour,” he said.


This isn’t unheard of during a La Nina with winds coming off the Tasman Sea cooling down Sydney and Brisbane. Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart miss out on these while also being affected by slow moving warm weather systems lolloping lazily across the continent.


The Bureau will release its official Christmas Day forecast on 18 December, but here’s the information we have so far on how La Nina could affect the capitals over the festive season.



Badga666 likes this

Rumors are carried by haters
Spread by fools
Accepted by idiots

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