SYDNEY, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) announced on Wednesday that the downgrading of the La Nina weather system in the tropical Pacific to La Nina WATCH indicated a slowing of severe wet and cold weather that has hit Australia's east coast.
The report, based on climate models of ocean temperatures and winds over the tropical Pacific Ocean, showed that neither La Nina nor El Nino systems were likely to persist during the southern hemisphere's winter, attributed to neutral wind and sea surface temperature levels.
Technical lead at the BoM, Dr. Andrew Watkins, said the results came from close monitoring conducted over the last several weeks, but warned it did not guarantee a decline in rainfall.
"A La Nina WATCH does not change the outlook of above average rainfall for most of Australia over coming months," Watkins said.
The BoM forecast that despite the slowing, there was a 50 percent chance of a La Nina even forming in the second half of 2022.
"The Bureau's long-range outlook remains wetter-than-average, consistent with model outlooks from other global forecast centres, reflecting a range of climate drivers including a developing negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and warmer-than-average waters around Australia," said Watkins.
The La Nina weather system, which was first officially announced in November of 2021, resulted in devastating floods and extreme weather in the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales (NSW). ■