The BOM Has Finally Given Us a Date As to When La Niña Might End

how long will la nina last

While much of the country has recently been smashed by unprecedented downfall, the Bureau of Meteorology has given us a small glimmer of hope as to when this wild weather may come to an end.

The La Niña weather system, coupled with the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annual Mode, has been wreaking wet vengeance upon us for the past two years. Australia is now experiencing its third La Niña in a row, something that has only happened a couple of times in the record books.

But it looks like we may not need the sandbags for much longer as the BOM suggests that La Niña could wrap up by early next year. With just two and a half months left in the year (shock, horror), that’s actually not as long as the endless torrents and gloomy outlooks might suggest.

Still, La Niña is not going to go down without a fight and the BOM is predicting that the weather pattern could peak over the next couple of weeks, leaving us with a very damp spring.

Although the weather pattern is “likely to persist into early 2023”, the BOM state that their “models indicate the La Niña is likely to decline over spring, with a return to ENSO-neutral conditions (neither La Niña nor El Niño) early in 2023”.

That’s unusual for a La Nina event, as experts advise that they normally persist over summer and decline in autumn. If it does peter out by 2023, it will make it a “relatively short-lived event.”

Image: Bureau of Meteorology

As the above image shows, La Niña is expected to weaken by the start of the year, and return to relative normality by March. The BoM is predicting that this weakening will start to happen by December.

Even better is the news that the negative IOD will start to slacken off as well, persisting until “late spring,” according to the data.

“When La Niña and negative IOD conditions combine, the likelihood of above average rainfall over Australia is further increased, particularly for the eastern half of the continent,” the BOM state.

With those two out of action, it’s hoped that we’ll see weather conditions return to normal in the early months of 2023, or at least improve, with brighter days ahead.

However, there are reports that the final weeks of La Niña could be some of the heaviest. Weatherzone meteorologist Felix Levesque has said that “It feels like the end is in sight, but with that being said, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the year ends with a bang.”

Following the return to normality, however, Levesque is also predicting that we could swing into an El Nino system rather quickly.

“El Nino is more likely to be the next climate driver after three-back-to-back La Ninas, so we will return to a neutral phase for a bit and then El Nino could return over the next few seasons,” he said.

El Nino is the warmer counterpart to La Nina, which sees warmer sea temperatures, less rain across the country, and possibly drought conditions. At least it’ll be sunny?

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