Australian weather forecasters on Saturday warned of possible severe flooding in parts of New South Wales as much of the country braces for unusually heavy rain in the coming months due to a third straight La Nina weather pattern. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a flood warning for parts of western New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, saying “major flooding” was possible in the towns of Gunnedah and Wee Waa late on Saturday.
Australia has been hit hard in recent years by the effects of climate change, persistent flooding, scorching temperatures, changing fire and rainfall trends, rising sea levels and ocean acidification. State Emergency Services Commissioner Carlene York told on Saturday that 12 flood rescues had been carried out overnight. Much of Australia will face unusually heavy downpours in the coming months, the Bureau of Meteorology said on Tuesday, confirming the third consecutive year of the La Nina weather event, likely to last until 2023.
Extreme weather in March left at least 13 dead and tens of thousands of people evacuated in Queensland and New South Wales, with town centers submerged, homes washed away and power cut. A La Nina event puts the densely populated East Coast on alert as many residents are still rebuilding after the floods. York warned of a more intense storm season from October to March due to more rain due to La Nina weather. The threat of flooding is real out there in the community,” she said. “The weather we’ve had over the last 12 to 18 months has been relentless rain.