La Nia means a wet winter
WINTER begins today and the forecasters are predicting above average rainfall and temperatures this season.
June to August is the driest period of the year on the Northern Rivers, and the average winter rainfall in Lismore is just 175mm.
However, this winter is set to be wetter due to a swing from El Nino conditions to La Niña.
Weatherzone head meteorologist Matt Pearce said El Niño conditions began decreasing at the beginning of the year.
“We have been in a neutral pattern, but we are now heading towards La Niña,” he said.
La Niña means warmer waters in the western areas of the Pacific Ocean, including the east coast of Australia, Mr Pearce said.
“With warm water comes more evaporation, so there is more cloud coverage and more rainfall,” he said.
Temperatures across the region throughout winter are expected to be milder this year.
The La Niña transition is expected to be complete by summer and is likely to bring an increase in weather patterns such as large seas, strong winds and rainfall due to more frequent low pressure systems.
During the 2007 La Niña there were five intense low pressure systems in one year.
Other LaNiña events in the past 50 years were 2008-09, 1998-2001, 1988, 1973-76, 1970-72, 1964-65 and 1954-57.