‘Stuck Inside’ seems to be the default setting for 2021, and with BOM officially declaring La Niña in the Pacific, this is a formal warning to mentally prepare yourself for a wet-ass summer.
If you have no idea what La Niña is, let me give you a definition to rattle off to your mates free of charge—I won’t even tell anyone you got it from me. In technical terms, La Niña is the cooling phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation, which is an irregular periodic variation in winds and sea surface temperature over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. Air currents suck cooler waters up into high-altitude winds, while simultaneously pushing warmer waters towards the coast and increasing the amount of moisture that enters into Australia’s weather systems. The opposite warming phase is known as El Niño. In human terms, La Niña is basically when someplace far out at sea cools down bringing on shit loads of rain, cooler but muggier temperatures and less time sipping margaritas alfresco.
The last La Niña we felt down here was back in 2010, which was the cause of the devastating floods in Queensland. The rains lasted well into the middle of the following year which, unfortunately, is a pretty clear prediction of what next year is going to look like as well. The weirdest part of La Niña in Australia is that the highest rains on record from this weather phenomenon was back in 1916, which also happened to coincide with Australia’s Spanish Flu outbreak. Who would’ve thought global health emergencies and stupid amounts of rainfall go hand in hand? Someone up there is clearly pissed off. Wanna talk about it?
Another fun fact: El Niño (the opposite of La Niña) means ‘little boy’ or ‘Christ child’ in Spanish because of its tendency to arrive just before Christmas. Whoever named La Niña obviously didn’t put too much thought into it because it just means ‘little girl.’ I’m not really sure what the link between a little girl and catastrophic rain is but I suppose this is just one of those things that have no reason or meaning, they just are. Kind of like when people call Richard, Dick. I never got that.