A man surveys the damage to his property affected by floods in the Melbourne suburb of Maribyrnong on Oct 15, 2022. (PHOTO / AFP)
SYDNEY - Australia's La Nina wet weather system, which caused record rainfall and floods that left tens of thousands homeless, is fading, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday.
Australia endured a record third La Nina event last year, causing major floods in March and October along the populous east coast and saw Sydney record its wettest year in 164 years.
With La Nina, sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal while waters in the western tropical Pacific are warmer than normal, generating moisture that brings rain to eastern and central Australia
All but one climate model suggests La Nina is "likely near its end" as the weather pattern weakens over the tropical Pacific, the Bureau of Meteorology said in a regular climate update on Tuesday.
Westerly wind anomalies associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a weather pattern, will also contribute to the breakdown of La Nina, it added.
With La Nina, sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean are cooler than normal while waters in the western tropical Pacific are warmer than normal, generating moisture that brings rain to eastern and central Australia.
While La Nina has devastated coastal and river communities, the wet weather has had a mixed impact on Australia's agricultural industry. Australia is on track for a record wheat harvest but the extra rain is likely to mean a higher proportion of average or below-average grade crops.
The Bureau of Meteorology said neutral conditions, neither La Nina or its opposite El Nino, are likely to prevail through the southern hemisphere autumn.
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