BOM prediction of increased flooding and decreased bushfires for summer

Last Summer’s catastrophic bushfire season isn’t predicted to reoccur this year, with widespread flooding instead anticipated to be a bigger risk. Photo: Emma Darbin.


AN INCREASED risk of flooding and a lower risk of bushfires is the Summer forecast issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for the NSW east coast last week.

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The Bureau of Meteorology has released its Severe Weather Outlook for October to April, showing an increased risk of flooding for eastern Australia and tropical cyclones in the north, with roughly average potential for heatwaves and severe thunderstorms.

The current La Niña is likely to bring more rain to eastern and northern Australia, and earlier than normal arrival for the first rains of this year’s northern wet season.

In NSW, La Niña is predicted to bring more rain than usual with an increased risk of widespread flooding, heatwaves could be more humid and last for longer, and a normal bushfire potential is predicted for the Summer season.

After last Summer’s catastrophic bushfires, the prediction of average fire potential for most parts is welcome news.

“This fire season we’re expecting wetter than average conditions in eastern and northern Australia, so long running large bushfires are less likely,” Bureau climatologist Greg Browning said.

However, the Bureau’s General Manager of Decision Support Services Sandy Wright said the lower fire risk across much of Australia is no reason for complacency.

“It’s important to remember that, right across Australia, even short periods of hot and windy weather will raise the fire risk, so communities need to have their bushfire plans ready,” Ms Wright said.

“La Niña also brings more rain and increased humidity, which can mean fewer extreme heat days.”



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