Will Bundaberg see a wetter than average summer?
THE question on the lips of many is how wet is summer in Bundaberg going to be.
That's especially so now the Bureau of Meteorology's ENSO Outlook has been upgraded from La Nina watch to La Nina alert level.
Going from watch to alert means there is about a 70 per cent chance - or triple the normal likelihood - of a La Nina effect hitting Australia.
Conditions in the tropical Pacific are approaching La Nina thresholds.
La Nina is associated with cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, creating wet conditions in Australia and dry conditions in South America. El Nino is the reverse phenomenon.
In Australia, BOM looks at Pacific trade winds, the southern oscillation index and sea surface temperatures to determine La Nina and El Nino conditions.
If the current progression continues, and thresholds are exceeded for a sustained period, 2017-18 will be considered a La Nina event.
While typically La Nina conditions increase rainfall over eastern Australia, BOM meteorologist Harry Clark told the NewsMail there was no certainty that the Rum City would see a wetter than average summer.
Mr Clark said there was a number of competing climate influences which included the Indian Ocean and Coral Sea.
He said the sea temperature in the Indian Ocean near Australia were not favourable for an increase in rainfall here.
"The ocean around Australia looks to counteract typical La Nina effects,” Mr Clark said.
Due to the late nature of this developing La Nina event and cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures over the Indian Ocean, it's unclear how summer weather will involved.
BOM climate models suggest that any event is likely to be weak and short-lived.