East Coast low causes heavy rain and strong winds across the Coffs Coast. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate
East Coast low causes heavy rain and strong winds across the Coffs Coast. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

Wet winter predicted for the Coffs Coast

AS IF the Coffs Coast hasn't received enough rain already in 2013.

After enduring deluge after deluge as 1088.1mm of rain fell in the space of only 78 days earlier this year (January 27 to April 14), it appears we're in for above average rainfall throughout the winter.

According to SKY NEWS Senior Meteorologist Tom Saunders, a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is likely to bring rain and plenty of it.

"A pattern of warm seas off the west coast of Indonesia and cool seas off the east coast of Africa (otherwise known as a negative IOD) is likely to cause a wet winter for most of the country," Mr Saunders said.

"A negative IOD is the Indian Ocean's version of a La Niña and similarly produces above average rain and an increased chance of flooding."

The negative IOD is already emerging and has helped fuel rain this week across most of the country which is expected to hit the Coffs Coast hard on Friday.

"This week's rain is already the heaviest in decades for this time of year across parts of central and northern Australia," he said.

"More widespread rain events are likely over the coming months as the warm waters off the west coast pump moisture into troughs and fronts which frequently sweep east across Australia during the winter."

Negative IODs typically develop in early winter and last through until about mid spring.

The last negative IOD was in 2010 when the Indian Ocean aligned with one of the strongest La Niña events on record to produce Australia's third wettest year on record.

"We do not expect this negative IOD to cause a repeat of the major flooding from 2010-11 as there is no La Niña to support it. However, we are looking at a healthy soaking across inland regions where drought has re-emerged over the past few months."



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