Jan 10, 2019

Heat takes its toll in 2018

Heat takes its toll in 2018 Queensland had its fifth-warmest year on record in 2018, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Queensland had its fifth-warmest year on record in 2018, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

The bureau today released its Annual Climate Statement, showing 2018 was Australia’s third-warmest year on record, while rainfall totals were the lowest since 2005.

The Annual Climate Statement is the bureau’s official summary of the previous year and includes information on temperature, rainfall and significant weather. (For the video presentation click HERE)

Bureau senior climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said Australia’s average temperature in 2018 was 1.14C above the 1961–1990 average, making it slightly warmer than 2017.

In Queensland, rainfall in 2018 was below average across southern parts of the state, while parts of the northern interior and Cape York Peninsula received above-average falls for the year.

It was the fifth-warmest year on record for Queensland in terms of mean temperature.

Extreme rainfall and flooding, heatwaves, severe thunderstorms and bushfires were a feature of 2018 in Queensland, while a prolonged heatwave from late November to early December pushed temperatures past 40C in much of the state.

“When we look across all of Australia in 2018, we can see that every single state and territory had above-average day and night-time temperatures,” Dr Bettio said.

“The average maximum temperature for the country as a whole was particularly warm, sitting 1.55C above the 1961–1990 average, making 2018 Australia’s second warmest year on record for daily high temperatures.

“The only part of the country to buck the trend for above-average temperatures was the Kimberley region, which had cooler than average nights for the year.”

The 2018 results mean nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.

Nationally, Australia’s 2018 rainfall total was 11 per cent below the 1961–1990 average, but many areas were significantly below average.

“Large areas of southeastern Australia experienced rainfall totals in the lowest 10 per cent on record, which exacerbated the severe drought conditions,” Dr Bettio said.

“New South Wales had its sixth driest year on record, while the Murray-Darling Basin saw its seventh-driest year on record.

“We did see some respite in the final three months of the year, with decent rainfall in the east of the country, particularly in New South Wales in October and November and parts of Queensland in October and December.”

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