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El Nino, La Nina can determine whether Australia wins or lose Ashes series

Sydney, Sun, 06 Feb 2011 ANI

Sydney, Feb 6(ANI): A scan of Ashes results over more than a century indicates that there is an uncanny correlation between Australia's fortunes and the weather patterns known as El Nino and La Nina.


During El Nino and La Nina varying ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean cause rainfall in eastern Australia to be lower than average and higher than average, respectively.


The correlation was discovered by Dr. Manoj Joshi, a University of Reading climate researcher, who found that during series held in Australia since 1882, the home team have won 13 of 17 series played during El Nino and just five of 13 played during the La Nina years, the Age reports.


Conversely, England have won just one Ashes series in Australia during El Nino, the series of 1932-33.


The floods and cyclones in Queensland are indicative of a strong La Nina pattern this summer and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Australia lost the Ashes 3-1.


"It makes perfect sense and it's an interesting correlation. La Nina certainly lends itself to conditions that are more British. You tend to have damper conditions, wetter pitches and not the dry, dusty stuff you usually get in Australia," said Weatherzone meteorologist Martin Palmer.


"It's a bit of a black art, working out how humidity effects a cricket ball. But we do know that cloud cover has an effect. The theory is that cloud cover tends to cool the temperature, but doesn't change the amount of water in the atmosphere."


"That means that the relative amount of water versus the temperature goes up, humidity increases and the ball gets more drag through the air," he added. (ANI)


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