Despite the fact that we’ve seen rain most days over the past week, experts are warning that Australia could soon enter a mega-drought that could last for a period of 20 years.
Forecaster Kevin Long from Bendigo, Victoria, has said that Autumn and Winter didn’t provide nearly enough rain to establish crops and warns that the record drought of 1982 could soon return.
Mr Long said that the reason for the minimal rainfall could be due to the proximity of Jupiter and Saturn. He says that when the two planets are closest together, which will occur next year, it heavily impacts the amount of rainfall in Australia.
“In the last 50-100 years these two cycles have moved closer and closer together and have finally synchronised,” Mr Long said. “This synchronisation will then have a greater effect on our rainfall.”
The next few years in Australia are expected to be the driest period in the Australian climate for more than 200 years.
Earlier this year it was declared that all of NSW was in a drought leaving farmers struggling, and Mr Long has said that this expected mega-drought will further impact crops across Australia.
“There’s hardly a crop between the northern and southern border in NSW,” explained Mr Long.
“That represents about a third of the eastern half Australia’s food production. Half of Queensland is in similar situations and the north western half of Victoria is the same.
“I don’t think there’ll be any profitable crops grown in half of the Murray Darling Basin this year and the rest of it is going to be very poor.”
The Bureau of Meteorology has said that we are twice as likely to experience an El Nino system this year rather than La Nina.
El Nino events often experience lower than average rainfall resulting in severe droughts, higher temperatures and an increased risk of bushfires. This period could last as long as two years.
It’s been warned that if El Nino does form at the end of 2018 it could prove catastrophic for the already struggling farming industry in Australia.