Australia weather: BOM announces negative dipole in the Indian Ocean, marking its first 60 years

A new discovery published by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that Australia’s wet patch will last for months.

A negative dipole in the Indian Ocean (IOD) has just been announced, which means that some dangerous wet weather is likely to be in large areas of the country throughout the rest of the year.

It’s the second year in a row that we’ve had a negative IOD – the first time this has happened since the 1960s.

IOD consists of three phases: neutral, positive and negative. Events typically begin in May or June, peak between August and October and then quickly dissipate when the monsoons reach the southern hemisphere at the end of spring.

The Management Office reports that weather shift caused by negative IOD can also have significant impacts on agriculture.

A negative IOD often results in temperatures that are cooler than the average maximum temperatures in southeastern Australia, while the maximum and minimum temperatures in far northern Australia are usually warmer than average.

More than half of the country on the east coast has an approximately 85 percent chance of exceeding last year’s rainfall during spring.

‘Extremely dangerous’ conditions

A severe double-whammy weather system will be reeling across Australia this week, which in some areas will lead to “extremely hazardous” conditions.

Huge waves, hundreds of millimeters of rain, flash floods and gale-force winds are all just around the corner. And there wouldn’t be a pan flash either with the slow-motion regimen potentially going all week long.

Up to six states in Western Australia and parts of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales can be hit especially in the firing line.

“A prolonged period of rainy and windy conditions will affect southern Australia this week as a series of strong cold fronts sweeps across the country,” said Jonathan Howe of the Bureau of Meteorology.

There is a very large mass of cold, unstable air over the Southern Ocean. And this whole complex will turn north and bring those wet and windy conditions to the rest of southern Australia.”

Sky News Weather’s chief meteorologist, Tom Saunders, said there are two main features in this system.

“Firstly, it is moving slowly, so it would take a whole week to go from southwest Australia towards the southeast.

“So, because of the slow movement of the system, it’s not just a few hours of severe weather in Western Australia – it’s three days.

“Secondly, it is a powerful system that has strong winds to a gale.”

One front will move early in the week followed by another two days later likely to bring more rain.

Adelaide was expected to see up to 10mm of rain on Tuesday with potentially harmful winds and thunderstorms from late morning onwards.

Rain will continue in most of the country on Wednesday, after which the front will come on Thursday and Friday bringing about 25 mm of rain during those two days.

A severe weather warning has been put in place for all of southern Australia except in the north and far east of the state around Remark. Noxious wind gusts of up to 90 km/h are likely.

Mostly clear in Melbourne on a Tuesday before the evening winds blow.

Rain can be expected for the rest of the week but rainfall totals will be less than 10mm each day.

In Sydney, rain is expected on Thursday followed by mostly sunny skies and 22°C.

with Benedict Brooke

Originally published as Grim sign, Australia faces a month of rain with 60 years of messing with the weather

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