Ruby Murrihy, 8, will be getting her umbrella out if predicted La Nina conditions produce increased rain this spring and summer.
Ruby Murrihy, 8, will be getting her umbrella out if predicted La Nina conditions produce increased rain this spring and summer.

What will La Nina deliver for CQ?

CENTRAL Queensland weather for the next three months is likely to be wetter and slightly cooler than average following the declaration of a La Nina by the Bureau of Meteorology this week.

Meteorologist Kimba Wong said the forecast La Nina climate pattern was likely to bring higher volumes of above average rainfall further away from the coast, while coastal areas had a 65 per cent chance of above average totals.

This means Bundaberg, Biloela and Rockhampton could record more rain than Gladstone, Yeppoon and Bargara, though more rain looks likely further south, Ms Wong said.

“La Nina tends to mean an early onset to the wet season and a slightly wetter wet season than you would normally have,” she said.

“It generally tends to increase rainfall in particularly spring, but into early summer as well.”

Low lying areas should be alert, Ms Wong said, as the likelihood of flooding was also increased.

“With the increased chance of more than normal rainfall across Central Queensland, you have a higher chance of more widespread flooding as well,” she said.

The atmosphere during a La Nina weather pattern also increases the chance of cyclone activity, Ms Wong said.

“There is also the chance of an increased number of cyclones during the season,” she said.

“Our long term average is about 11 cyclones per season for the whole Australian region, so not just the east coast and the Coral Sea.

“But that number has been declining over recent years so it is more like a running average of nine per season now.

“If we have more cyclones occurring there is also a greater risk of a cyclone crossing the coast as well.”

Temperatures can also be impacted by a La Nina event, Ms Wong said.

“There is also a chance of having less hot days across Central Queensland, but heatwaves could be more prolonged,” she said.

“So there is the chance of less intense heatwaves, so the temperatures won’t be as hot, but the hotter days will last over a longer period.”

Rainfall outlook for the next three months:

Bundaberg: Median 259mm. 74 per cent chance of at least 250mm

Temperature averages. October – 27.1. November – 28.6. December – 29.7.

Gladstone: Median 214mm. 77 per cent chance of at least 200mm.

Temperature averages. October – 27.6. November – 29.0. December – 30.2

Rockhampton: Median 199mm. 67 per cent chance of at least 200mm

Temperature averages. October – 29.7. November – 31.3. December – 32.2.

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