Queensland farmers are encouraged to prepare their properties and infrastructure to mitigate any potential impacts of a severe weather event, after the Bureau of Meteorology declared that La Niña has developed in the Pacific Ocean.
This follows central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures exceeding La Niña thresholds and atmospheric indicators, including the Southern Oscillation Index, trade winds and cloud also at La Niña levels.
These recent changes in ocean temperatures and weather patterns over the Pacific are now likely to remain until at least the end of the year.
La Niña is typically associated with above-average spring rainfall for Australia, particularly across eastern, central and northern regions.
It can also mean cooler days, more tropical cyclones, and an earlier onset of the first rains of the wet season across the north.
Current climate outlooks indicate the remainder of 2020 will be wetter than average across the eastern two thirds of Australia.
The last La Niña event occurred from 2010-2012 and resulted in one of Australia’s wettest two-year periods on record. Widespread flooding occurred in many parts of Australia associated with the record rainfalls.
It is likely this year will not see the same intensity as this La Niña event, but is still likely to be of moderate strength.
Preparing for a severe weather event as a result of La Niña now will ensure the state’s farmers can get back to doing what they do best sooner – producing world class food, fibre and foliage.