Record breaking La Niña

Cover of the La Niña Report

La Niña Report

The successive La Niña events of 2010–12 that contributed to record-breaking rainfall and cooler temperatures across Australia, particularly eastern Australia, have been chronicled in a new Bureau publication.

The 24-page booklet and online publication Record-breaking La Niña events gives an insight into how La Niña (and El Niño) events occur and why they change Australia’s weather and climate. It also details the significant impacts of the 2010–12 La Niña events.

It recalls the 2010–11 event as the strongest La Niña in nearly 40 years, and chronicles the extreme rainfall across this and the 2011–12 event, with 2011 being Australia’s second-wettest year on record and 2010 the third. The two events combined made for Australia’s wettest two-year period on record.

The publication recalls the widespread flooding that brought devastation to many but also raised water storage levels substantially and ended the millennium drought in southeast Australia.

The 2010–2012 La Niña events also contributed to extreme land and ocean temperatures. Ocean temperatures were at record highs around Australiain 2010, helping to deliver the rains, while the following year temperatures over land were at their lowest in a decade due to the high rainfall.

Access the publication Record-breaking La Niña events: An analysis of the La Niña life cycle and the impacts and significance of the 2010–11 and 2011–12 La Niña events in Australia.