Winter whiteout: Fog bomb causes chaos on the roads as forecasters warn Australia is set for a soaking six months of above average rainfall
- Sydney was clouded in thick fog on Friday morning with many landmarks hidden
- Australia is in for a wet six months after an increased chance of a La Nina
- La Nina event is more than average rainfall which can bring cyclones and floods
- Bureau of Meteorology has announced likelihood of a La Nina is at 50 per cent
A thick blanket of fog has descended on Australia’s east coast as the rest of the country prepares for six months of potentially drought-breaking rainfall.
The Bureau of Meteorology has announced the likelihood of a La Nina event, which is an above average chance of rainfall for months on end, is currently at 50 per cent.
The La Nina will also bring in chillier daytime temperatures for Australians and a high risk of tropical cyclones and floods.
Sydneysiders woke up to an ominous sight on Friday morning as much of the city was blanketed in fog.
Sydney’s Crown Casino (pictured on Friday morning) was nearly invisible after it was blanketed in thick fog
A ferry (pictured) can just be made out in bottom left as it sails out of Sydney’s Harbour, covered in fog on Friday morning
Only the very top of the Crown Casino and the Centre Point Tower could be seen causing chaos for commuters on their way to work with poor visibility on the roads.
The fog comes after it was announced Australia would be in for a wet winter with the rain continuing to last into spring.
‘The Bureau’s ENSO Outlook is at La Nina watch, indicating the chance of La Nina forming in 2020 is around 50 per cent – roughly double the average likelihood,’ the BOM said.
‘While the cooling trend has eased compared to two weeks ago, over half of the surveyed international climate models anticipate this cooling will approach or exceed the threshold for La Nina during spring.’
A La Nina occurs every three to seven years and Australia was hit with its biggest downpour of rain on record during the 2010-2012 La Nina.
Australia is likely to see a La Nina event, which will mean higher than average rainfall across the country (pictured, rain in Sydney’s CBD on May 9)
Australia will already see a wet weekend in parts of South Australia, NSW, Victoria and south-east Queensland (pictured)
During this time Australia was battered with extreme floods, recording some of its wettest years on record.
The Murray–Darling Basin experienced its wettest year on record in 2010 and Western Australia had its heaviest rainfall in 2011.
Australia’s eastern states will already begin to see some heavy rainfall over the weekend.
A strong low-pressure system is expected to bring storms, strong winds and possible flooding over the coming days.
The Bureau of Meteorology has announced the likelihood of a La Nina event, which is an above average chance of rainfall, is currently at 50 per cent. Pictured flooded streets in Byron Bay in February
The system is barrelling in from south-west Western Australia to the nation’s south-east, with rain expected in Victoria, NSW and parts of south-east Queensland.
Forecasters have warned the system is predicted to move off the NSW coast and intensify into an east coast low-pressure system that could batter the south-east with damaging winds and torrential rain that could lead to flooding.
Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney are in for a wet weekend with showers expected on both days.
WHAT IS LA NINA?
La Niña occurs when equatorial trade winds become stronger, changing ocean surface currents and drawing cooler deep water up from below.
This results in a cooling of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
The enhanced trade winds also help to pile up warm surface waters in the western Pacific and to the north of Australia.
The warming of ocean temperatures in the western Pacific means the area becomes more favourable for rising air, cloud development and rainfall.
As a result, heavy rainfall can occur to the north of Australia.
Brisbane will have some cloud cover on Saturday before showers move in on Sunday.
Darwin with stay dry and warm over coming days with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s.
Perth will enjoy a sunny weekend reaching a top of 20C on Saturday and 23C on Sunday.
Cloudy skies and cool weather is in store for Hobart with chilly morning temperatures at 2C on Saturday and Sunday.
In a recent study co-authored by Andrew King, a climatologist from the University of Melbourne, a La Nina event was found to be a driving force in breaking droughts.
‘Drought-breaking rainfall is considerably more likely to occur during a La Nina season than either an El Nino or ENSO-neutral season,’ the research said.
‘Without a La Nina or a negative IOD event, it is difficult for wet conditions to occur on a large spatial scale across a season in the Murray Darling Basin or much of eastern Australia.
‘The major Australian droughts of the past 100 years have coincided with several of the longer-lasting periods when La Nina and negative IOD events did not occur.’
FOUR-DAY WEATHER FORECAST IN YOUR CITY
FRIDAY: Min 10. Max 19. Partly cloudy
SATURDAY: Min 10. Max 20. Possible shower.
SUNDAY: Min 9. Max 18. Shower or two.
MONDAY: Min 10. Max 18. Showers.
FRIDAY: Min 13. Max 22. Shower or two.
SATURDAY: Min 13. Max 23. Partly cloudy.
SUNDAY: Min 13. Max 23. Showers increasing.
MONDAY: Min 14. Max 19. Shower or two.
FRIDAY: Min 8. Max 15: Showers increasing.
SATURDAY: Min 7. Max 13. Showers.
SUNDAY: Min 6. Max 15. Possible shower.
MONDAY: Min 6. Max 15. Mostly sunny
FRIDAY: Min 5. Max 18. Mostly sunny.
SATURDAY: Min 4. Max 20. Sunny.
SUNDAY: Min 7. Max 23. Sunny day. Late shower or two.
MONDAY: Min. 12. Max. 21. Showers increasing.
FRIDAY: Min 8. Max 16. Mostly cloudy.
SATURDAY: Min 9. Max 15. Showers. Possible storm.
SUNDAY: Min 7. Max 14. Shower or two.
MONDAY: Min 7. Max 15. Cloudy.
FRIDAY: Min 1. Max 14. Possible shower.
SATURDAY: Min 3. Max 14. Showers.
SUNDAY: Min 3. Max 13. Possible shower.
MONDAY: Min 4. Max 13. Shower or two
FRIDAY: Min 21. Max 33. Sunny
SATURDAY: Min 22. Max 33. Partly cloudy.
SUNDAY: Min 23. Max 33. Sunny
MONDAY: Min 22. Max 33. Sunny
FRIDAY: Min 4. Max 10. Partly cloudy.
SATURDAY: Min 2. Max 10. Partly cloudy.
SUNDAY: Min 2. Max 13. Partly cloudy
MONDAY: Min 3. Max 11. Partly cloudy
SOURCE: Bureau of Meteorology