Tasmania is set for a gloomier than usual outlook this summer, after meteorologists announced that Australian was officially in the midst of a La Nina weather event.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology declared that wetter than average conditions were expected in many parts of Australia, especially eastern, northern and central regions, which would likely last until at least the end of summer.
BOM head of operational climate services Andrew Watkins explained that the La Nina weather event was the result of a combination of factors, including water cooling in the central or eastern tropical Pacific, persistent south-east to north-westerly winds, as well as clouds shifting to the west, closer to Australia.
For Tasmania, this meant the rainfall experienced throughout its unusually wet spring - which the state experience its wettest October since 2016, as well as snowfall in November - would likely continue into next year.
However, Hobart-based scientist for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, James Risby, said the oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon could have a uneven effect on Tasmania.
"I think the main message about La Nina is that it doesn't guarantee that the state's weather will be wetter than normal, it just tilts the odds, mainly for the Northern and the Eastern parts of Tasmania," he said.
The last La Nina's occurred during the winter of 2020 to 2021, before its warmer counterpart, El Nino, developed in 2018-2019.
These two phases are both a part of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) which is the irregular periodic variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean.
When neither climate pattern is present, it means ENSO is neutral and does not influence global climate patterns.
In contrast to the increase in downpours, Mr Risby said La Nina would increase the likelihood of cooler than average daytime temperatures for large parts of Australia.
"That's because of the extra rainfall, which causes extra cloud cover, and depresses the maximum summer temperatures," he said. "However, if you look at the map on the Bureau's website, that effect is nearly absent for Tasmania, so there isn't really much of a connection between the State and La Nina."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.