Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has published climate data and a summary of the key statistics for 2022 ahead of the release of its Annual Climate Statement in February.
The data shows 2022 was wetter and warmer than average for Australia overall, with the national mean temperature recorded as being 0.5°C warmer than the 1961–1990 average, making 2022 the equal 22nd warmest year since records began in 1910.
National rainfall was 25% above the 1961–1990 annual average making 2022 the ninth-wettest year on record. Rainfall was very much above average for the south-eastern quarter of the mainland, where persistent rain saw significant flooding affecting large areas, multiple times during the year. Rainfall was below average for western Tasmania, much of the north of the Northern Territory, and the far southwest of Western Australia.
Water storage levels have been high across much of Australia during 2022, although some storages were still low for parts of Central Coast Queensland, western Tasmania, southeast New South Wales and western Victoria.
Annual maximum temperatures were above average for most of Northern Australia, Tasmania and parts of the West Coast but below average for New South Wales, southern Queensland and parts of South Australia.
Annual minimum temperatures were above or very much above average for most of Australia.
The year was characterized by wetter than average conditions across much of Eastern Australia. Climatologically, these conditions were consistent with the wet phase of natural climate variability for the region – namely a La Niña, a negative Indian Ocean dipole in winter and spring and a persistently positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode from mid-autumn.
The 2022–23 La Niña has been the third in a row. This is only the fourth time that three successive La Niña events in a row have been observed in the Bureau record since 1900 (with the others being 1954–57, 1973–76, and 1998–2001).