LA NINA COULD BE FORMING
The two major storms that have formed in the Tasman Sea in the past week could be the strongest sign yet that a drought breaking “la Nina” is on the way according to the Radio Network’s head weather analyst.
“When La Nina forms we tend to get more depressions forming in the northern Tasman or Coral Seas bringing heavy rain to drought affected areas in both Australia and New Zealand” says Philip Duncan.
La Nina is the opposite of El Nino. During El Nino warmer waters lie well east of New Zealand meaning rain bearing lows form east of New Zealand and once formed move even further away from us. With La Nina the warmer waters lie west of New Zealand, therefore lows naturally travel south east towards us. Mr Duncan says this has certainly been happening in the past week.
La Nina also brings warmer weather to New Zealand, and NIWA are predicting a 50% chance of La Nina forming.
Dry weather in both New Zealand and Australia has been caused by two El Nino’s in 2002 and then again for our past Spring and Summer.
“Just as droughts are common with El Nino, floods are common with La Nina. Currently we are in a neutral phase, which means conditions are pretty average and we have neither la nina or el nino weather patterns” says Duncan.