Where is the rain?

La Nina is here - so where is the rain? Todays post looks into why it's so dry - and if that is likely to change...

I’ve had a few asks about the recent dry weather. We are definitely in the middle of a La Nina – but as I’ve posted before, that doesn’t guarantee rainfall; rather it increases the chances of higher than average rainfall. Here’s how the November rainfall looks to date:

Not pretty for anyone in the east. Weatherzone actually published an article today looking into this very issue. In their words:

La Niña has been underway in the Pacific Ocean since September and continues to gain strength. This usually causes rain to increase over Australia. So, why has November been so dry?

So what’s going on? While La Niña increases the likelihood of above-average rainfall in large areas of Australia, it doesn’t guarantee it every month. There are many more ingredients that go into producing Australia’s day-to-day weather than just the state of the Pacific Ocean.

While La Niña has been sending more moisture-laden air towards Australia in recent weeks, there has been a distinct lack of rain-bearing systems to convert this airborne-moisture to actual rain during November. One of the reasons for this has been unusually strong upper-level ridges near southeastern Australia, which have prevented cold fronts from moving up over the eastern half of the country. Instead, these rain-bearing fronts have been hitting the southwest and then dropping down into the Southern Ocean. The result of this abnormal synoptic pattern has been prolific rain in southwestern Australia and not much rain elsewhere.

You can read the full article here.

Looking ahead – the next few days are looking dry for us, but a change moving through on Tuesday increases the chance of seeing some showers and storms. Here’s the forecast lightning map for next Tuesday:

Beyond that it looks like drying up (and warming up) once again…though there are hints in the models that the season is finally changing, with wetter weather still looking likely on both medium and long term models through our summer. Here’s the latest forecast from one of the global models for December:

I’ll finish with a wrap of other news in case you missed it:

We’ve had the webcam and weather site go down a few times. I’ve added battery backup to the system now, but if you become aware of any problems please let me know so I can jump into it: bellingenweather (at) gmail.com Thanks!

Images: BoM / Meteologix / Tropical Tidbits

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