The Bureau of Meteorology in Australia dropped a mini curve ball on the winter season ahead today.

While conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean are currently neutral, the BOM revealed there are some signs that a La Niña may form in the Pacific Ocean later in 2024.

The BOM also emphasised in a statement today that it is important to note that there is a similar likelihood that the tropical Pacific Ocean will remain neutral.

La Niña, along with El Niño, is part of a natural climate cycle known as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Moving to La Nina watch does not mean that the Bureau is declaring that a La Niña event is underway. The Bureau of Meteorology Climate Manager Dr Karl Braganza said rainfall and temperature forecasts are not based on the status of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation Outlook.

A La Niña watch means there is an indication that the chance of development is 50 per cent, which is higher than usual.

This is roughly double the normal odds, according to Monash University associate professor Shayne McGregor.

“The best guidance for future rainfall or temperature forecasts is the Bureau’s long-range forecast,” said Dr Braganza.

“The long-range forecast for June to August is showing an increased chance of above average rainfall for parts of eastern Australia, and parts of Western Australia and South Australia

“There are roughly equal chances of above or below median rainfall for most of eastern Australia, including much of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.”

If La Niña does happen then it will be the fourth time in five years.

La Niña traditionally means more precipitation, which is good for skiers and boarders, however the BOM did say today that the June to August maximum and minimum temperatures are very likely to be above median across all States and Territories.

The Bureau’s long-range forecast winter outlook will be released at the end of May, so watch this space.

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