Annual Climate Statement 2019: Hot and dry in Australia

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Australia experienced its hottest and driest year on record in 2019, according to Bureau of Meteorology’s 2019 Annual Climate Statement.

Average mean temperatures were 1.52°C above average, the warmest on record since consistent records began in 1910. It surpassed the previous record of 1.33°C above average set in 2013.

National average rainfall was 277mm, the lowest since consistent records began in 1900, beating the previous record of 314mm during the Federation drought of 1902.

The weather was impacted by a very strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole, warming and drying Australia’s landscape from around the middle of the year. A rare Sudden Stratospheric Warming event above the south pole compounded warmer and drier conditions in southern Queensland and New South Wales, amplifying fire weather.

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