Nation enjoys respite with cooler summer

Nation enjoys respite with coolest summer in 10 years

Weather
There has been unseasonably heavy rainfall over much of eastern Australia this summer.

There has been unseasonably heavy rainfall over much of eastern Australia this summer.

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The strong La Nina event has led to the coolest summer for the nation as a whole in 10 years, however it was around the long-term average.

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AUSTRALIA as a whole has enjoyed its coolest summer since the supercharged La Nina event of 2010-11.

In its summer climate review, the Bureau of Meteorology said once again a strong La Nina, correlated with cooler and wetter conditions, had kept weather cool.

Lyn Bettio, senior climatologist at BOM, said this summer's La Nina was the strongest since the 2010-11 event.

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Along with the cooler weather there was also increased rainfall, particularly over south-eastern Australia and the Northern Territory.

"In many areas we have seen summer moisture boosting soil moisture levels, although you can clearly see the impact of a dry spring and summer on the south coast of Queensland," Dr Bettio said.

"The good news has been an increase in water storage levels in key regions," she said.

"In the Murray Darling Basin, the northern basin storages are up to 25 per cent of capacity and the southern reservoirs are at 59pc.

"Through the north that is basically double what was in them at this stage last year so that is a great start."

Dr Bettio also had good news for those in the Northern Territory.

"There have been some good gains in the Tanami / Timor catchments, the rises in storages have been the best in four years which is great news."

It is also good news in terms of water security for our capital cities.

"Water levels are slightly lower for Perth and Brisbane but on the whole our cities' storages are looking pretty good."

The rainfall anomaly in Queensland, which has not seen typical La Nina-inspired above average rainfall was backed up by a lack of tropical lows.

"Usually in a La Nina summer we have 18 tropical lows develop over Australia," said senior climatologist Catherine Ganter.

"This year there have only been six and while there is still a little while to go in the wet season it is tracking well below average," Ms Ganter said.

The summer anomalies were even more pronounced when assessed at a local level.

Ms Ganter said it had been the coolest summer in South Australia for 19 years and in WA it was the coolest in 15 years, although due to warm Indian Ocean waters the temperatures in Perth were actually higher than average.

She said it was markedly different from the 'Black Summer' of 2019-20.

"Year on year the temperature rating dropped 62 places, from the second warmest on record to the 64th."

However, the two climatologists cautioned that although the year was cooler than recent summers it was still part of a warming trend and only around the long term average rather than markedly cooler in spite of the strong La Nina.

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