SYDNEY, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The record-breaking downpours and flash floods that plagued Australia's eastern states in recent years are predicted to return largely due to another La Nina weather event.
The nation's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued a warning on Tuesday that there was a 70 percent chance of the destructive La Nina striking between September and November with heavy rainfalls continuing into the summer months of December to February.
La Nina, which affects changes in sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, intensifies trade winds and increases air moisture which usually brings higher than average rainfalls to the coastal states of Queensland, New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria.
The weather phenomenon has played a major role in the drenched conditions that have lingered since 2020 and smashed a series of monthly rainfall records which dated back more than 120 years.
The torrential downpours triggered a series of devastating floods, especially throughout southeast Queensland and northern NSW, claiming about two dozen lives and upending numerous communities with homes and farmlands washed away.
The BOM noted that even though the waters have receded in recent months, rivers and dams remain full and soil moisture levels are high, which means if heavy rainfalls do occur, flood risks will be "elevated."
If La Nina does return during Australia's warmer months, it will be for the third consecutive season, which meteorologists describe as a rare "triple-dip."
Weatherzone meteorologist Andrew Schmidt told local broadcaster Nine News on Wednesday that a triple-dip was "very uncommon" and could be a consequence of climate change among other factors, noting that it was "difficult to pinpoint a single cause." ■