Coming soon to a lucky country near you is Australia’s big hot El Niño summer. We’ve already had a scorching taste of it so far, and IDK about you but I’m definitely looking forward to it to getting over with it already.
Thankfully the GOATs at the Bureau of Meteorology have shared their predictions on when they expect El Niño to El-Niñ-Go.
After finishing three years of La Niña, Australia’s first El Niño of the decade has just begun. Which means we are looking at a much hotter and drier summer than the last few years.
The Bureau of Meteorology has declared that El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are underway. Warmer and drier conditions have already been forecast for spring and summer for parts of Australia. Details: https://t.co/j4kNt3qLSZ pic.twitter.com/vFpd0x0yav
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) September 19, 2023
However, the thing about La Niña and El Niño is that they are two sides of the climate-coin. One hot and dry, and one hot and wet. Australia usually fluctuates between them, though we’ve been lucky to go for so long without an El Niño lately.
Despite the fact the last three years were La Niña events, that doesn’t mean the only alternative is El Niño, as there can be a neutral season, which is most common. There are certain pieces of meteorological criteria that need to be met for either event to be declared by the Bureau.
This upcoming summer will be Australia’s first El Niño since 2016!
But how long will El Niño last for?
Thankfully, because El Niño is just how scientists describe the summer period, we can expect this hot and dry period to last for the 2023-2024 summer, ending around February next year!
In a statement the Bureau said: “Climate model outlooks suggest this El Nino is likely to continue until at least the end of the southern hemisphere summer 2023–24.”
This means that for the next five-ish months we should be on the lookout for the dangers associated with El Niño’s hotter and drier climate, including heatwaves that can last multiple days, an increased chance of bushfires, worse droughts than usual, and the supermarkets to start charging an arm and leg for sun-screen.
So take care of yourself over this summer y’all! It’s gonna hot, and dry, which is not a fun combo in any scenario – but especially summer. Might be time to invest in some new bucket hats and SPF 2024+.
Image source: Getty Images /John Carnemolla