Flooding, cyclone risk for Northern Rivers during La Nina
LA NINA is not going to be kind to northern NSW with above-average rainfall increasing the risk of flooding and greater risk from tropical cyclones crossing the coast further north.
It's prompted a warning from Dr Andrew Watkins of the Bureau of Meteorology to prepare for the storm season early this year.
Northeast Australia, including northern NSW and all of Queensland, should see above-average rainfall with a potential for increased flooding.
There's also more potential for tropical cyclones crossing the coast in the far northeast during La Niña events.
The last La Niña event was from 2010-2012 and resulted in one of Australia's wettest two-year periods on record.
Widespread flooding occurred in many parts of Australia associated with the record rainfalls.
Tropical Cyclone Yasi also caused widespread destruction during this period after crossing the coast in far-north Queensland.
Dr Watkins said La Nina brought with it more tropical cyclones than normal and the early onset of the wet season.
"Typically in north east Australia, La Nina brings more tropical cyclones than normal and we have only ever seen one severe tropical cyclone in a season cross the coast during La Nina years," he said.
"So you need to be prepared for more tropical cyclones, earlier tropical cyclones and also wetter conditions over coming months.
"The risk of flooding is increased as well in many areas."
La Niña events normally last for around a year, however they can be shorter, or much longer.
Climate models suggest these patterns will continue until at least the end of the year.