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2019 the Driest and Warmest Year on Record

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The Bureau of Meteorology has released its Annual Climate Statement; revealing that 2019 was both the warmest and driest year on record for Australia.

South Australia broke records with the mean temperature in 2019 at 1.52 Celsius above average.

January was the warmest month Australia has ever recorded, whilst Port Augusta experienced a scorching 49.5 C on the 24th.

The following high temperatures were recorded across the region on that same day (as per accuweather.com):

Whyalla – 47

Port Pirie – 47

Yorke Peninsula – 47

Clare Valley - 45

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

Hottest Temperatures recorded across the region for the end of 2019 are below (as per accuweather.com):

NOVEMBER 2019

Port Augusta – 44

Whyalla – 44

Port Pirie – 44

Yorke Peninsula – 44

Clare Valley – 42

DECEMBER 2019

Port Augusta – 47

Whyalla – 44

Port Pirie – 36

Yorke Peninsula – 44

Clare Valley – 42

It has been suggested by the Bureau that the record conditions of 2019 have contributed to the recent and current fire conditions affecting large parts of our country.

2019’s average rainfall total of 277mm is the lowest recording since national records began in 1900 and is 37mm lower than the previous record low.

Bureau of Meteorology head of climate monitoring Dr Karl Braganza has said that “Rainfall deficiencies across large parts of eastern Australia have continued to increase, unfortunately exacerbating both drought conditions and the current bushfires."

"Australia's climate has warmed by more than a degree since 1910, which means very warm years like 2019 are now more likely to occur, while the trend in recent decades has been for drier winter and spring seasons in the south."

Temperatures for the remainder of the summer are likely to remain warmer than average in 2020.

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