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Dry outlook as La Nina decays

Ben Domensino, Wednesday February 21, 2018 - 11:37 EDT

The weak La Nina that briefly popped up in the last two months is already breaking down and its decline is being reflected in the rainfall outlook for autumn.

It is yet to be seen whether or not the current La Nina in the Pacific Ocean will reach the three month threshold required for it to be officially classified as a La Nina event.

Regardless of its length, there are clear signs that the La Nina pattern is decaying, both in terms of sea surface temperatures and atmospheric conditions over the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

The brief and weak nature of the current La Nina meant that it failed to enhance summer rainfall for many areas in eastern Australia.

NSW as a state received less than half of its average rainfall during January and with sparse cloud cover, it was also the state's warmest January since 1939 in terms of maximum temperatures.

This month, most of Victoria, NSW and large areas of central Australia had received less than 20 per cent of their February average rainfall during the first 20 days of the month.

The current breakdown of La Nina has resulted in a notable dry and warm autumn outlook for most of Australia.

Rainfall between March and May is expected to be below average for a large area of central and southern Australia. Both day and night time temperatures are expected to be near to above average across the country.

In the absence of La Nina, Australia's weather during the next three months will become more influenced by the patterns in the tropics, the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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