National weather: Why is it raining in El Nino, Is it La Nina, Wet summer

A meteorologist has issued a devastating weather forecast for Australians after a wetter than expected start to Summer.

East coast Australians have been shocked to find the hot, dry, bushfire-ridden summer they were expecting has been drowned out by destructive tropical cyclones and widespread flooding.

Meteorologist Matthew Cappucci predicts the wet weather that has dominated the start to summer will continue until the end of January.

“The wet pattern is here and I think it’ll stick around for quite some time,” he told Today on Thursday.

He went on to explain the “typical El Nino” Australians were preparing for has been derailed by clashing weather systems driving significant rainfall along the nation’s east coast.

“I liken it to an orchestra,” Mr Cappucci said.

El Nino was one instrument playing, but there are many other different things that make up the ensemble.”

The climate driver is expected to bring hotter, drier conditions and less rainfall, however this year has been different.

He said there are two main reasons for this, the first is a region of warm water in the western Pacific which is heating the air and causing storms.

The second is a Southern Annular Mode (SAM) which causes westerly winds to go further south, creating an onshore flow and driving moisture in Australia.

Mr Cappucci said climate change is a likely driver for the bizarre weather, saying “incredibly warm” water in the Tasman Sea is also warming the air and allowing it to hold up to 7 per cent more water vapour.

“The storms have been heavier, more numerous, wetter and more severe,” he said.

Over the weekend, Sky News meteorologist Alison Osborne said it was a “misconception” an El Nino guaranteed drier conditions, before also pointing to the SAM as a powerful driver behind the wet trend.

“It’s pretty difficult to predict in advance beyond a couple of weeks, but at the moment that has been a big driver of the rain and storm events through eastern Australia in particular,” she said.

“That thing has been wobbling positive since early December, and it’s likely to remain that way for at least the next two weeks.”

She said there is a “high chance of above-average rain through northeastern and eastern Australia” before the conditions begin to dry out in February.

Read related topics:Weather

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