MORE INFORMATION- LA NINA

Floods

Floods are a common feature of La Niña episodes experienced in Australia. Brisbane had its worst floods of the 20th Century during the1973-74 La Niña. Recently, the year 2000 with the onset of a late-season La Niña was Australia’s second wettest year on record. There was extensive flooding. However, just four years later, Australia was in the grip of a savage drought brought about by three successive years of El Niño conditions (compare the SOI values for the year 2000 with those for 2002, 2003 and 2004 in Table 1).

Table 1. Monthly values of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) for the years 2000 to 2004
(Bureau of Meteorology, Australia).

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 5.1 12.9 9.4 16.8 3.6 -5.5 -3.7 5.3 9.9 9.7 22.4 7.7
2001 8.9 11.9 6.7 0.3 -9.0 1.8 -3.0 -8.9 1.4 -1.9 7.2 -9.1
2002 2.7 7.7 -5.2 3.8 -14.5 -6.3 -7.6 -14.6 -7.6 -7.4 -6.0 -10.6
2003 -2.0 -7.4 -6.8 -5.5 -7.4 -12.0 -2.9 -1.8 -2.2 -1.9 -3.4 9.8
2004 -11.6 8.6 0.2 -15.4 13.1 -14.4 -6.9 -7.6 -2.8 -3.7 -9.3 -8.0