Severe drought affected large parts of the country. July rainfall below to very much below average for very large areas, including most of New South Wales, southern Queensland, South Australia, and the southern half of Western Australia Australia's seasons are at opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere. Major flooding occurred in coastal communities between Daintree and Mackay, including flooding in the Burdekin, Ross, Bohle, Haughton, Herbert, and Black rivers, and Bluewater Creek. It is unusual but not unprecedented to have successive positive IOD events. Of the ten warmest years, only one (1998) occurred before 2005. Evacuations were ordered for parts of Beechmont and Binna Burra in the Gold Coast Hinterland, and Stanthorpe and Applethorpe in the Granite Belt. Research suggests that the frequency of positive IOD events, and particularly the occurrence of consecutive events, will increase as global temperatures rise. A large fire started west of Swansea on the East Coast, following lightning strikes in early December. All the years since 2013 have been amongst the ten warmest on record for Australia. Fanned by westerly winds on several occasions, the fire had burnt more than 4370 hectares by mid-December. Large fires affected Gippsland in Victoria and parts of Tasmania from summer into autumn, burning large swathes of remote and wilderness regions. Extremely dry conditions and very much above average temperatures led to increased fire risk across New South Wales and Queensland during spring (see Special Climate Statement Severe fire weather conditions in southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales in September 2019). Nationally, each month from July through December was amongst the ten driest on record for their respective month. Rainfall was also above average for a small area of the Pilbara coast in Western Australia. Each place has a total for how many days of wet weather it usually gets a year and for the normal amount of precipitation. New records for high daily Forest Fire Danger Index (FFDI) values were set in some areas of all States and Territories (FFDI is one common measure of fire weather conditions) during spring, Almost all of Australia had spring accumulated FFDI values that were very much above average (highest 10% of years), including almost 60% of the country that was highest on record. Minimum temperatures have also been warmer than average, at 0.83 °C above average for January–November, the seventh-highest on record for the period. Major flooding across western Queensland which had started in February, and was extended by heavy rainfall associated with ex-tropical cyclone Trevor at the end of March, continued into April. The IOD was also positive in 2018, and while not meeting criteria for a positive IOD in 2017, the general pattern of sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean during that year was also unfavourable for rainfall across Australia. The SES received more than 70 calls, mostly for building damage, flash flooding, and downed trees. On two consecutive days, the 17th and 18th, records were set for Australia's hottest day on record. Strong to gale force and gusty north to northwesterly winds developed from mid-morning over the Eyre Peninsula and central districts, with the strongest winds over the south of the peninsula during the early afternoon. As well as the significant deficiencies affecting New South Wales, southern Queensland, eastern Victoria, and eastern South Australia, rainfall deficiencies intensified throughout the year in Western Australia — including across the South West Land Division. They were the highest on record for much of Western Australia away from the coast, extending into northwest South Australia and the southwest of the Northern Territory, northern and eastern New South Wales, and southeastern Queensland, and an area of the Victoria River District in the Northern Territory. The year 2019 was the second warmest year in the 140-year record, with a global land and ocean surface temperature departure from average of +0.95°C (+1.71°F). Reports indicated crop damage from the frost events may be the worst for a decade or more. The SES responded to 1279 requests for assistance across Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Annual mean minimum temperatures were also above average for much of the country, but close to average in areas of the northern tropics; an area of the southeastern Northern Territory and western Queensland; and some areas of the south of Western Australia and South Australia. The national total rainfall for 2019 was 40% below the 1961–1990 average at 277.6 mm (the 1961–1990 average is 465.2 mm). Frosts caused crop damage to some grain-growing regions in southern Australia. There were unconfirmed reports of hail up to 13 cm in diameter at near Gympie. A fire at Port Lincoln, on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula, on the 12th burned about 5000 hectares and damaged at least 11 properties. The year got off to a very warm start for much of the country, as prolonged stable and sunny conditions and a delayed onset of the monsoon in northern Australia led to a build up of heat. Low rainfall also led to very low soil moisture across large areas of Australia during 2019, particularly across the Murray–Darling Basin. Rainfall for the year was below to very much below average over most of Australia. Monthly mean minimum temperatures were very much below average for southeastern Australia during August, and during September for parts of the mainland southeast and for large areas of the northern tropics. In South Australia storms on the 8th brought strong and damaging winds and localised flooding to the Adelaide Hills, with power blackouts affecting thousands of properties across the State. On 2- to 3-year timescales, starting in early 2017, rainfall has been near or below previous record low values over much of New South Wales and southern Queensland, in many regions comparable to records set in 1900–1902 during the Federation Drought. Warm and windy conditions during spring to early summer led to repeated periods of severe fire weather, with very large bushfires affecting eastern Australia from September, with many fires continuing to burn after the end of the year. In the west, severe tropical cyclone Veronica caused major flooding in the coastal Pilbara during March. Spring brought little rainfall over the fire grounds, and further fires started across eastern New South Wales, and also in eastern Victoria and on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. Much of northeastern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland, pastoral South Australia, the central and southern Northern Territory, and southeastern Western Australia received their lowest annual totals on record. Severe tropical cyclone Veronica caused major flooding in the Pilbara, resulting in extensive disruption to shipping and onshore industry, while Trevor set daily rainfall record for March in some parts of northern Queensland, and displaced people from a number of remote communities along the western Gulf coast. Please note this list is not exhaustive—for a more complete summary of individual events, including those affecting smaller geographical regions or causing limited damage, please consult the Monthly Weather Review. For the remainder of the year rainfall was generally below average over large areas, with conditions turning especially dry from July onwards across continental southern Australia. February was also much warmer than average across western and far northern Australia, and for much of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. Dry lightning also led to fires in East Gippsland and northeast Victoria towards the end of November. Although Oma remained well offshore, the system caused gale force winds, king tides, coastal erosion, and inundation of low-lying areas in coastal southeast Queensland and contributed to damaging surf which produced coastal erosion in New South Wales. And make no mistake: An increase of 5 degrees Celsius (or 9 degrees Fahrenheit) is a huge deal. Based on this climate outlook and the behaviour of recent years, it's likely the final annual mean temperature will be between 1.3 °C and 1.4 °C above average. The fires threatened communities in several parts of Tasmania, with the Tasmanian Fire Service issuing Emergency Warnings on many occasions. Fri 6 Sep 2019 16.00 EDT Last modified on Mon 9 Sep 2019 18.40 EDT. Floodwaters from these events eventually made their way to Lake Eyre / Kati Thanda in South Australia, for the most significant filling event for Lake Eyre / Kati Thanda since 2010–11. Low rainfall during 2019 resulted in increased severity of rainfall deficiencies across New South Wales and Queensland, parts of southeastern Australia, and the South West Land Division in Western Australia. The graphs are produced using daily rainfall data from the Patched Point data set and data from the department's upgraded DPIRD Weather Website . A very dry year so far. Widespread areas of heavy smoke created hazardous air quality across broad areas of eastern Australia at times during spring through December, in some locations lasting for weeks at a time with little respite. Mean minimum temperature above average for nearly all of mainland Australia, and highest on record for large parts of inland Western Australia, the northwest, and interior of Australia The second half of the year was particularly dry across most of the southern half of Australia, and followed several years of below average rainfall over parts of Queensland and New South Wales. Australia has a wide variety of climates due to its large geographical size. Winds in excess of 70 km/h resulted in dust storms in Birchip, Kerang, Swan Hill, and Wycheproof. Sydney had many months with below-average rainfall, but also some wet months; its annual total rainfall was in the driest 15% of years. The SES responded to over 100 reports of fallen trees and 22 incidents involving damage to buildings, mainly in Melbourne and surrounding areas. In New South Wales, more than 50 fires were active by 9 September, with five fires were burning out of control and three watch and act alerts in place: for the Long Gully Road fire at Drake near Tenterfield, the Bees Nest fire near Armidale, and the Shark Creek fire in the Clarence Valley. Gabbadah, north of the Perth area, reported a roof torn off by a possible tornado. More details, including a summary of records, can be found in Special Climate Statement Widespread heatwaves during December 2018 and January 2019. However, the retreat of the Southwest Indian Monsoon was very slow during 2019, six weeks later than average and the latest on record. Flooding continued in western Queensland into April, boosted by above average monthly rainfall for large areas in March, partly as a result of severe tropical cyclone Trevor, which crossed the Peninsula during the second half of the month. The storms were brief, but some were severe, with a large number of damaging wind gusts observed as a distinct line of thunderstorms moved across the east, sweeping through Sydney just after 1 pm. The role of climate change is further discussed in State of the Climate 2018. SSTs were near average to the southwest of Australia, including the west and southwest coasts of Western Australia. Annual rainfall in 2019 was very much below average over much of Australia, although parts of Queensland's northwest and northern tropics were wetter than average. ... parched the country is expected to be in December with most of central, northern, eastern and south eastern Australia with blow average rainfall. Southern Tasmania experienced poor air quality from mid-January to early February, including at locations well removed from the actual fires, while smoke from northwestern Tasmania also reached Victoria in the first week of February. A dust storm moved through Mildura on 7 May, fuelled by gust front with wind gusts over 80 km/h, reducing visibility to a few hundred metres. Annual rainfall was above average for some areas of Queensland in the northwest, on the northern coast around Townsville, and on the tip of Cape York Peninsula. Annual mean temperatures for 2019 were above average for nearly all of Australia, and highest on record for a large area of northern and eastern New South Wales, southeast Queensland, most of Western Australia extending from the Pilbara coast to northwest South Australia, and for an area of the Victoria River District in the Northern Territory. During spring the IOD index reached the highest weekly values observed in the Bureau's dataset, which extends from 2001. Minima were also below to very much below average for areas of the mainland southeast and tropical Australia for September. 2018 was particularly dry, 11% below the recorded mean for 1961-1990 at under 413mm. The notable warmth of 2017, 2018, and 2019 occurred without the presence of El Niño (which typically boosts global temperatures). As the extremely hot air mass moved eastward, large areas approached or exceeded December daily maximum temperature records across inland and southeastern South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, southeast Queensland, Central Australia, and much of Tasmania. Low rainfall has been accompanied by very high daytime temperatures. Power outages affected around 13 000 premises in the west and central regions of the State, and the northern suburbs of Melbourne. It is expected that a Special Climate Statement will be released covering this extreme heat event. April rainfall was above average for parts of the Gascoyne in Western Australia, the Top End, inland Queensland and northwestern New South Wales; for the southeastern mainland the month was much drier than average. Significant flooding was also recorded in the Bulloo, Paroo, and Warrego catchments during early to mid-April but the most significant flooding was recorded further to the west. Drought in Indonesia was associated with the most significant fire season since 2015. Large hail up to 3 cm was reported in northern suburbs and the metropolitan area. The warmest year on record was 2016, 0.87 ± 0.1 °C above the 1961–1990 average. The remnants of the ex-tropical cyclone continued to produce rainfall over the east of the Northern Territory and western Queensland, and contributed to heavy rainfall over eastern Australia associated with the passage of a trough and cold front at the end of the month. The data is in and 2019 topped the BOM's charts for average and maximum temperatures as well as the lowest rainfall across the country. Warmth was widespread and persistent throughout 2019 — January, February, March, April, July, October, November, and December were all amongst the ten warmest on record for Australian mean temperature for their respective months. Significant flooding resulted in and around Townsville during late January to early February. Windy conditions affected western and southern South Australia ahead of a strong front on 5 April. Thousands of people in eastern Victoria and southeastern New South Wales were affected by evacuation orders as the fires flared in these very dangerous conditions. Dangerous fire weather conditions in early November had led to renewed fire activity in New South Wales and eastern Queensland, with the fires continuing to burn throughout December. Outside of Queensland, the northern wet season (October 2018–April 2019) was drier than average for the Northern Territory and Western Australia. temperature, Tracking Australia's climate through 2019, Almost certain to be amongst the four warmest years on record for Australia, Annual rainfall for Australia as a whole likely to be in the driest ten years on record, Much of Australia affected by drought, especially severe in New South Wales and southern Queensland, Flooding across northern Queensland and the Gulf Country between February and April, leading to a significant filling of Lake Eyre / Kati Thanda, Significant heatwaves in January contributed to Australia's warmest summer on record, Large bushfires affected Victoria and Tasmania between January and March, Prolonged period of bushfires affecting southeast Queensland and northeastern New South Wales from September, Continuation of January to November anomaly (2019 anomaly of about +1.4 °C), December temperatures are the 1961–1990 average (2019 anomaly of about +1.3 °C), December temperatures are the coolest on record (2019 anomaly of about +1.1 °C). Over a metre of snow fell at Spencers Creek during the month, mostly between the 6th and the 13th. Large areas of the western Indian Ocean were also much warmer than average. This very strong, positive IOD has contributed to very low rainfall across Australia. More details on dangerous bushfire weather and heat in spring 2019 can be found in the related Special Climate Statement. A large number of daily high temperature records for December, including some records for any month of the year. The average annual temperature in Sydney is 17.6 °C | 63.7 °F. Dry soils also limit surface runoff, because water is absorbed into the soil. Intensive and sustained efforts by several hundred fire fighters, augmented by aircraft, ensured that building losses were limited, although large tracts of wilderness and forests were burnt in the southwest, Huon Valley, and Central Plateau. Details on some of these fires, and the antecedent conditions, can be found in Special Climate Statement Dangerous bushfire weather and heat in spring 2019. Unusually late tropical activity in May contributed to above average rainfall for the far northern tropics, extending across the Northern Territory into Central Australia. Widespread thunderstorm activity was observed across New South Wales associated with the passage of a strong cold front on 26 November. The temperature and rainfall rankings for 2019 could still change in the remaining weeks, but we can certainly say that almost the whole country has had a very warm and very dry year so far. February 10, 2019 JPEG Relentless rain pounded Queensland for several weeks in January and February 2019. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued its preliminary statement on the climate of 2019 on 3 December. The very strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) led to a delayed onset and a delayed withdrawal of the Indian Monsoon, resulting in large precipitation deficits over the Indian subcontinent during June, but above average rainfall in later months. Trevor brought widespread heavy rainfall across Cape York Peninsula and Queensland's north tropical coast, as well as heavy rainfall about the southern coast of the Gulf. With low streamflows and limited runoff, there were only marginal increases to storages across the Southern Basin during the year and no meaningful inflows in the Northern Basin where storages remained extremely low or close to empty. The effect of the frost was compounded by antecedent low rainfall, and high temperatures following frost early in the month, as well as crops being at a vulnerable stage of development. Australia has warmed by over one degree since 1910, with most of the warming occurring since 1950. A tornado was reported at Lake Nowergup around midday on the 10th. Veronica was slow moving very close to the coast for a number of days, confining rainfall to a small area. The warmth was widespread, affecting nearly all of Australia at some point. Around 2500 people from remote communities along the Northern Territory's western Gulf coast were evacuated into temporary accommodation ahead of the cyclone's landfall. Further significant fires also broke out during the month in South Australia, Gippsland and northeastern Victoria, across the Alpine region, southeastern New South Wales, and Tasmania. In the Southern Basin total storage volume in 2019 went from 53% in January down to 39% at the end of the irrigation season in April. Negative SAM is also associated warmer than average spring temperatures and an increased chance of spring heatwaves across southern and eastern Australia. Over the following days, heavy falls had spread further south to the Central Coast and Whitsundays and inland across the northwestern regions of Queensland. The drying trend is particularly strong for May–July over southwest Western Australia since 1970, and for April–October over the southeast of the continent since 1999. The mean maximum temperature for January–November was 1.90 °C above average, the highest on record for the 11-month period. Warming associated with anthropogenic climate change has seen Australian annual mean temperatures increase by over one degree since 1910. A persistence of stable and sunny conditions over much of the country combined with a delayed onset of the Australian monsoon over northern Australia to create ideal conditions for heat build-up. Flash flooding and swift water rescues occurred around Black River and Bluewater Creek to the northwest of Townsville, with rainfall totals of more than 200 mm in three hours. More details on dangerous bushfire weather and heat in spring 2019 can be found in the related Special Climate Statement. Major flooding resulted along the Pilbara coast with both Port Hedland and Karratha cut off by flooding and multiple roads closed in the region, including the Great Northern Highway and North West Coastal Highway. Rainfall for the year was below average for southern Queensland, across the Central Highlands and Central Coast districts, and parts of the Gulf coast. In contrast, the mean temperature was cooler than average over a large area of North America. Extremely dry conditions and very much above average temperatures led to increased fire risk across New South Wales and Queensland during spring. The climate is variable, with frequent droughts lasting several seasons, thought to be caused in part by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. The five warmest years in the 1880–2019 record have all occurred since 2015, while nine of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 2005. On the Gold Coast hail more than 4 cm in diameter was reported around Southport, Pacific Pines, and near Beenleigh, while hail of 2 cm to 4 cm in diameter was reported in suburbs to the east and north of Brisbane. This value is only 0.04°C (0.07°F) less than the record high value of +0.99°C (+1.78°F) set in 2016 and 0.02°C (0.04°F) higher than the now third highest value set in 2015 (+0.93°C / +1.67°F). Heavy rainfall continued into early February, with above average monthly totals across northern Queensland. The Gell River fire in southwest Tasmania, which had started on 27 December 2018, continued to burn. Unusually warm and dry weather during April, combined with windy conditions, led to elevated fire danger and significant areas of raised dust across southern South Australia, including across the Adelaide area. Several active tropical systems, including severe tropical cyclone Trevor, brought above average rainfall to parts of northern and western Queensland during the first months of 2019. The national area-averaged maximum temperature on the 18th was 41.9 °C, a whole degree above the value for the 17th (40.9 °C). January–November rainfall has been the second-lowest on record for Australia as a whole (spanning 120 years), coming in behind only January–November 1902. Several times over the three months, warm spells with high temperatures, very low humidity, and strong winds led to dangerous fire weather conditions. Rainfall to date graphs show the amount of rainfall accumulated from the start of the grain growing season and can be used as a tool in the seasonal decision-making process. All values in this statement were compiled from data available on the issue date. Persistent warmth during 2019 has been driven by the combination of the long-term warming trend and natural climate drivers including a long-lived positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). Sydney climate summary The Sydney lies on 27m above sea level Sydney's climate is classified as warm and temperate. This southwards shift of frontal systems is an expected outcome of climate change. ABC Weather / By Kate Doyle. Cold nights during the first half of September led to severe frost damage to crops in southwest Western Australia, with greatest losses in the region around Esperance. A slow-moving thunderstorm cell developed over Cape Paterson on 10 May, resulting in large accumulation of small hail in the area. While drought years have often seen cooler than average minimum temperatures in the past, the background warming trend (+1.4C °C since 1910) now means that minimum temperatures are more often above average, even in years of extremely low rainfall. More details can be found in the report on severe tropical cyclone Veronica. An extended warm period with multiple heatwaves over much of Australia began in early December 2018 and continued into January 2019. Brisbane and Canberra had their highest annual mean temperature on record, and all other capital cities were warmer than average overall. The end of year period brought particularly challenging weather, with the FFDI for individual days the highest on record for December, and in some cases for any month, on 30 and 31 December over areas of southeastern Australia and Tasmania. With little rain during March, most of the large fires which had been alight since earlier in the season continued to burn within containment lines. Lightning over the ranges to the east of Melbourne on the last day of February and first day of March, and again on the 4th, sparked multiple new fires. Mean maximum temperatures for the month were highest on record for July over large areas of northwestern Australia, and also for parts of eastern New South Wales and adjacent southern Queensland. Major flooding occurred in a number of Gulf rivers, including the Cloncurry, Leichardt, Flinders, and Norman rivers, with resulting damage to communities, infrastructure, and extensive stock losses. Despite many areas seeing unusually cold nights during at least one month between May and November, the overall mean minimum temperature for the year so far has also been above average for most of the country. The fire was under control by the 26th and had burnt through over 13 000 hectares by the end of January though was still burning into February. Winter to spring is traditionally a filling period for water storages across southern and southeastern Australia. Very heavy rainfall led to flash flooding in the metropolitan region, with the Brisbane city gauge reporting 103 mm in one hour, delivering December's average rainfall total in one night. May was much drier than average for most of Western Australia and much of east coast Australia. Both of these values exceed the previous record of 40.30 °C set on 7 January 2013. Parts of east Africa which had previously been affected by drought saw flooding associated with the positive IOD during October and November. Severe intensity heatwave conditions extend across southern Australia at times during January. Large areas were also very much warmer than average for April. Impacts on the wider community, including power infrastructure, agriculture and human wellbeing, stretched resources of utilities, health agencies, and emergency services. As of 31 December 2019, the 2019–20 tropical cyclone season was yet to see any tropical cyclones. A number of cold fronts and associated low pressure systems brought periods of rainfall to the South West Land Division in Western Australia during the first third of the month. The delayed northern Australian monsoon saw heat build over the north, which persisted through much of summer. In total, summer 2018–19 was the warmest on record for Australia. This statement has been prepared using the homogenised Australian temperature dataset (ACORN-SAT version 2, released in December 2018) for area-averaged temperature values and the observational dataset (AWAP) for area-averaged rainfall values and mapped analyses for both temperature and rainfall. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as Cfa. The ocean waters around Australia have also warmed significantly over the past century, and have been very warm consistently across the past two decades. Recorded across the Australian northwest Cloudband: Climatology, Mechanisms, and all other capital cities than over. 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