Australia weather bureau says La Nina may be at its peak

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s weather bureau said on Tuesday the La Nina wet weather pattern, which has caused destructive flooding in Australia and Southeast Asia and hit major agricultural and mining commodity markets, may be at its peak.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the La Nina event would persist into the southern hemisphere autumn, another two months.

The bureau said the 30-day Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), which measures the strength of La Nina, recorded a +27 in December, its highest level on record and the highest value for any month since November 1973.

“Long-range models surveyed by the bureau suggest that this La Nina event may be at its peak, and will persist into the southern hemisphere autumn,” said the bureau in its Weekly Tropical Climate Note issued on Tuesday.

Reporting by Michael Perry; editing by Balazs Koranyi