Is La Nina coming this summer?

22nd October 2017 4:56 AM
Rafaela Dmitruk from Kirra at Snapper Rocks. Picture: Nigel Hallett Rafaela Dmitruk from Kirra at Snapper Rocks. Picture: Nigel Hallett

EXPERTS are closely monitoring the possibility of a La Nina event developing towards the end of the year which will drive yet more rain over Queensland.

Graziers and farmers are also hoping for continued wet weather over summer following one of the state's driest winters on record.

After speaking with graziers in Cloncurry last week, climatologist Roger Stone said conditions were beginning to suggest the possibility of a La Nina event this year.

"I am concerned we will have a very wet summer ahead for Queensland," he said.

"For example, the key American agency, the Climate Prediction Centre, has been warning of the potential for a La Nina since September (so) no wonder it has already been so wet."

Mr Stone said the last La Nina event in 2010-11 led to devastating flooding around southeast Queensland.

However, the Bureau of Meteorology has downplayed the likelihood of a wet summer, reporting in their October to January climate outlook the improbability of a wet season.

Leo Neill-Ballantine on his farm west of Calliope.
Leo Neill-Ballantine on his farm west of Calliope.

"The Pacific Ocean is likely to cool towards La Nina levels over the coming months," the outlook said.

"However, the corresponding warm sea surface temperatures that typically develop to the north and northwest of Australia during La Nina events are less likely to develop."

Last week flooding caused millions of dollars worth of damage to central Queensland farms and properties following consecutive days of heavy rainfall.

Authorities from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are assessing damage but said it was too early to determine the extent of the destruction.

Some areas are still inaccessible due to flood waters.

Grazier Leo Neill-Ballantine said his property west of Gladstone has received a continuous run of good rain since winter.

"At this time last year, we had absolutely no rain so it's been a good start for us," he said. "It's the best start to a season in five or six years."