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BOM Forecast The Rain But No One Listened

Australian floods: Why were we so surprised? | Environment | The Guardian
Germaine Greer
Meteorologists warned Australians six months ago to prepare for a soaking. And nobody did a thing ...
In June last year the bureau of meteorology issued a warning that La Niña was about "to dump buckets" on Australia.

Funny I can't find that June 2010 forecast - The BOM Forecast from June 2010 is only for three months:


Wetter conditions favoured in the northeast
The national outlook for total rainfall for the July to September period, shows a moderate shift in the odds favouring wetter than normal conditions over parts of northeastern Australia.

Not quite "to dump buckets".

The October one which is the earliest that should warn of the flood risk:

Increased rainfall odds for most of Australia
The national rainfall outlook for the November-January period favours wetter than normal conditions over large parts of Australia, most notably in eastern, northern and southwest Australia.
The pattern of seasonal rainfall odds across Australia is a result of warm conditions in the Indian Ocean, as well as cool conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean associated with the current La Niña event.

Hardly panic stations, and the last forecast before the rains fell...

Wetter summer favoured for parts of eastern and western Australia issued 23rd November 2010
Wetter summer favoured for parts of eastern and western Australia
The national rainfall outlook for summer (December-February) favours wetter than normal conditions in southeast Queensland, eastern NSW, northern NT and most of WA. Drier conditions are favoured in parts of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

20101123.national.lr.gif

I'm not sure why the story that a Met Office actually did forecast a weather extreme for December but people were too stupid to realise it rings a bell...


UPDATE - Greer seems to be quoting a subeditor's headline on the Herald Sun - the story of which gives only the vaguest of warnings, certainly not a warning of what came.

Comments

Ahh! The blame game. Lets be honest, it is impossible to forecast the weather with much accuracy. I can promise that winter will be cold and wet and if you are in the North it will snow and summer will be hot with occasional rain. And I have about the same accuracy as the weatherman for long term forecasts. We all know that a la nina will be wetter and we all know one year it rains like hell in one place and the next year it rains like hell somewhere else. And we all know that the media always reacts as though it has never happened before. With due respect for those sufferring in Australia this is not a suprise. Australia's history is years of drought followed by deluges and floods. Just because 60% of the people living in any particular Australian city today has never seen it before does not mean it has never happened before. Let me make a prediction: There will be wild fires in Australia. If not this year then next. And if not next then probably the following year, etc., etc.
And since I'm on a roll let me predict earthquakes, floods and fires in California and tornadoes in the midwest with heavy snows in the Northeast.

"... The national rainfall outlook for summer (December-February) favours wetter than normal conditions in southeast Queensland, eastern NSW, northern NT and most of WA. Drier conditions are favoured in parts of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania..."

Most of WA is drier than ever.

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