27 September 2023

Australia’s weather hot and dry

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The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has released its Annual Climate Statement, revealing 2019 as both the warmest and driest year on record.

The annual statement is the Bureau’s official summary of the previous year and includes information on temperature, rainfall and significant weather events.

Head of Climate Monitoring at BoM, Karl Braganza said the record warm and dry conditions were one of the key factors influencing fire conditions in large parts of the country.

“2019 was consistently warm, but it was book-ended by periods of extreme heat,” Dr Braganza said.

“January last year was the warmest month Australia has ever recorded, while just a few weeks ago in December, we saw the Australia-wide record hottest daily average maximum temperature broken multiple days in a row.”

“At the same time, rainfall deficiencies across large parts of eastern Australia have continued to increase, unfortunately exacerbating both drought conditions and the current bushfires,” he said.

The annual statement also showed Australia’s mean temperature in 2019 was 1.52 degrees above average, making it the warmest on record since consistent national temperature records began in 1910.

It also showed national rainfall as the lowest since records began in 1900, with an average of just 277mm for the year, beating the previous record low of 314mm during the Federation drought in 1902.

Dr Braganza said that in recent weeks some of the key drivers of the recent warm and dry patterns over Australia had eased, with rainfall for the coming months expected to be average to below average in the east, with wetter than average conditions possible for much of Western Australia and South Australia.

The Bureau’s annual report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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