(CNN) -- Australia is emerging from the grip of its strongest La Nina weather pattern on record -- a meteorological event that brings either devastating floods or, in the case of its counterpart El Nino, scorching droughts.
According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, the weather pattern that brought dramatic floods to southern Queensland a year ago -- one of the most intense on record -- is waning, but oceans around the eastern seaboard are still warm enough to cause high pressure systems that dump months of rainfall in a matter of a few days.
"There was a very slow moving trough over inland Australia that stretched from the far northwest, through the Northern Territory and on to the southeast including New South Wales and Victoria," said Jenny Sturrock, acting senior meteorologist at the National Metereological Centre.
"When it meets all that nice warm moisture from the Coral and Tasman Seas, we got several days of heavy rainfall that led to flooding," she said.
"This type of broad scale pattern is more conducive to rainfall but it's also exacerbated by short-term meteorological patterns too."
Updated below by Alan Jones and Piers Corbyn