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Photograph: Visit Victoria

Hallelujah! La Niña is officially over – but what's in store for us next?

El Niño has entered the chat, and he's bringing blistering heat and dry conditions

Leah Glynn
Written by
Leah Glynn

If you've thought the last couple of summers have been, well, a bit drab and damp, you're not wrong. Australia actually set a number of rainfall records in 2022, and the past three years have felt like a relentless cycle of torrential rain, devastating floods and mould outbreaks. 

But it's finally time to shake off that raincoat and celebrate, because the Bureau of Meteotology has officially declared La Niña – the weather phenomenon that brought on the soggy conditions – to be over. And thank God for that. 

In the BOM’s ‘Climate Driver Update’ report that was released on Tuesday, March 14, they stated that La Niña has finally ended in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and that the naughty El Niño–Southern Oscillation ‘ENSO’ weather pattern is now neutral, with oceanic and atmospheric indicators having returned to neutral levels. 

However, that doesn't mean we're in for a nice little bout of gorgeous weather – oh no. There's truly no rest for the wicked, with the BOM following up on the cancellation of La Niña with an announcement that we are now on El Niño watch for 2023.

For those who aren’t familiar, El Niño is La Niña’s angry little brother, and the weather facts are stating that we have a hefty 50 per cent chance of him coming into town in all his searing, blistering heat this year. Known for bringing extremely dry and hot conditions to Australia, El Niño was responsible for the Black Summer bushfires on the east coast between 2019 and 2020. According to BOM’s averaging of international model forecasts, it looks like it’s possible that El Niño will be officially declared in August. 

At this stage, all we can do is sit tight and wait, and enjoy the lovely weather while it lasts.

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