Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More rain on way as Australia sees third-wettest year on record

James Grubel in Reuters: Australia recorded its third-wettest year on record in 2010 due to a major La Nina weather pattern which is now causing record flooding and set to last another three months. With summer floods swamping much of the northern Queensland state, the Bureau of Meteorology said the second half of 2010 was the wettest on record, with La Nina conditions firmly established by July. The switch to the intense La Nina occurred quickly, replacing the drought-causing El Nino pattern at the start of 2010.

But the bureau said while 2010 was also the coolest in nine years, the decade to the end of 2010 remained Australia's hottest on record. "This underscored that the warming of Australia's climate continues, even though individual years may be cooler than other years," the bureau said in its annual climate statement for 2010 released on Wednesday.

La Nina conditions occur when tropical sea temperatures are cooler than average in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, and warmer in the western Pacific resulting in higher rainfall in Australia and parts of Southeast Asia….

North Rockhampton during the 1890 flood. Flooding of the Fitzroy River and tributaries during early 1890. Residents crossing by boat along the inundated bridge. From Lundager, J. H. (Jens Hansen), 1853-1930

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