Another La Nina weather pattern for Australia in late 2011?

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says current La Nina/El Nino-related weather measurements are at present still mostly neutral.  However there is some possibility that the Pacific Ocean will cool further, which will result in the return of a La Nina weather pattern (though not as strong as was the case for the last wet season, which was indicated as early as August 2010).  About half of all La Nina weather patterns since 1900 have returned later in the following year.

All local councils in northern and eastern Australia would be horrified by the thought of yet more damage to infrastructure, since they’re still struggling to find money and staff to repair road damage which commenced  nearly 12 months ago.  However a follow-up good wet season in northern Australia would be brilliant for pastoralists, summer crop growers and to consolidate native vegetation seed banks and ground cover – and complete the recovery of drought-affected wildlife.

So those living in grain growing areas best not put away the mouse and rat traps and poison just yet, and the Federal Government needs to work with state governments on a concerted effort to reduce exploding feral animal numbers.   Feral animals and plants don’t recognise state boundaries.   Pig, cat and rabbit numbers would have absolutely skyrocketed.  I saw more dead pigs beside the road on a recent 4,000 km round trip drive south, than I’ve ever seen before.  For every dead one there’s a multitude still alive, breeding up in the surrounding scrub.

A drive through inland Australia at present is a wildlife ‘feast for the eyes’.  I’ve seen more echidnas than I’ve ever seen; from as far south as the Hay Plain (I had no idea there were any echidnas still in the southern Riverina) right up to Charters Towers.  Emus are in abundance in many areas also, and flocks of brolgas.  Australia really is a land of extremes, it has been that way for eons, the evidence is there before us in the way native plants and animals have recovered so quickly after so many years of below-average rainfall.

The next Bureau of Meteorology update will be issued on 14 September.

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