El Nino likely for later this year

El Nino likely for later this year

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), El Nino conditions will affect the East of Australia towards the end of August.

El Nino events are linked with the likelihood of drier conditions and can be linked to the risk of heightened temperatures, drought, crop failures and bushfires. When we are in an El Nino period, large parts of eastern Australia are drier than normal during winter and spring, while daytime temperatures in southern Australia tend to be warmer. Therefore the likelihood of heatwaves and bushfire risk increases.

With the good rainfall of the past two years, we do have some in reserve against drought but it can also increase the risk of bushfire because of the extra growth in the Bush, from the two wet years of 2010 and 2011.

Even a number of national fire services have expressed concern about the oncoming fire season due to heavy rain and excessive grass growth, which have played havoc with scheduled hazard reduction burning.

Insurance losses are likely to shift from ‘wet’ disasters [floods and tropical cyclones] to ‘dry’ disasters [bushfires].

Latest international reports mention similar conditions for the Northern Hemisphere, with the US Climate Prediction Centre predicting the onset of El Nino conditions for July-September this year.