The Great Barrier Barrier Reef is about to see its most severe drought in more than a century.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology says rainfall will fall between 15 and 19 per cent below normal for this time of year.
The bureau said the worst-affected areas are the east coast, south east Queensland, northern Victoria and the southern half of South Australia.
A large section of the Great Barriers, the longest and most heavily-fenced of the four Great Barrier islands, is also at risk of flooding.
In the past 24 hours, rainfall has fallen at least 25 per cent less than normal.
This has been especially devastating for the central and northern sections of the reef.
The Bureau of Marine Resources said the severe drought is being caused by unusually warm water from the Pacific Ocean.
“While this is the first time the weather is in this particular region in over 50 years, we know that there are a number of factors contributing to the drought, including the warm Pacific Ocean, which is currently experiencing a very strong El Niño, which has been causing more moisture to fall into the ocean,” ABC Environment News Meteorologist Mark Jones said.
“The warm ocean also brings moisture into the system, and that water, in turn, has brought more water to the surface of the water, which creates more flooding.”
Read more about droughts,drought,bureau of meteorology,weather,wales source Engdnet title The Great Barries, the Great Sea and the South Australia drought could hit the UK too article The weather could get worse before it gets better in the UK this week, as the country’s south east and northern regions are set to receive a heavy dose of rain, with the worst affected areas being the east and south east coast.
The Met Office says there is a 50 per cent chance of rain falling between the central parts of the country and parts of south east England.
“There will be some scattered showers across the region but the chances of rain will be very low and the chances are quite low that we will see much more than the usual amount of rain across this area,” Met Office meteorologist David Hill said.
Rainfall is expected to be the main problem, with heavy rainfall occurring in the north east of the UK.
The weather bureau says the rain could reach the south west of the island of Ireland, where a heavy downpour is forecast for Tuesday.