Queensland is bracing for a summer of more than six cyclones and destructive flooding due to a periodic weather event crossing Australia’s east coast.
The complex weather pattern, known as La Nina, has the Bureau of Meteorology warning of a severe season reminiscent of the historic floods that engulfed Brisbane in 2011 and claimed dozens of lives.
The same weather event was responsible for the devastating natural disasters that lashed the state nearly 10 years ago but the bureau says drier water catchments this time around should limit flood threats.
“The message for this severe weather season is pretty clear – we’re in a La Nina event,” according to senior meteorologist Laura Boekel, who told reporters on Monday the season outlook was a dramatic shift from the bushfires that ravaged the country 12 months earlier.
“What that means for Queensland is that we are expected to see a higher amount of rainfall this season, which could therefore lead to above average amount of flooding for the state.”
An average of six cyclones typically form off the Queensland coast each summer and Ms Boekel said “while I can’t give exact or specific numbers, I can say that we’re likely to see more than that amount”.
The hot and dry conditions of last summer that contributed to multiple bushfires will this year be replaced by wet and sticky days and nights.
“With more cloud cover, we see maximum temperatures typically a little bit lower than average and minimum temperatures a little bit warmer,” Ms Boekel said.
“So warmer nights and, yes, humidity.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her cabinet were briefed by the bureau on Monday morning.
“We need to make sure we’ve got everything prepared,” Ms Palaszczuk told her ministers according to the Brisbane Times.
“We just need to make sure that the regions are ready as well.”