Australia

Australia just had its driest spring ever recorded and summer will be a scorcher

A spotter helicopter flies through thick bushfire smoke in Nana Glen, near Coffs Harbour, Tuesday, 12 November, 2019. Source: AAP

Climate records continue to tumble in Australia.

Australia just experienced its driest spring on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

An average of just 11.9mm of rain fell across the country this November - making it the driest November on record - which BOM said led to the country’s catastrophic bushfires. 

In fact, 2019 is shaping up to be one of the driest - and hottest - years on record.

It's all part of new data released by BOM this week.

Sheep wander parched land near a dry reservoir on a Condobolin property, 460 kilometers northwest of Sydney.
Sheep wander on parched land near a dry reservoir on a Condobolin property, 460 kilometers northwest of Sydney.
AAP

This year’s January to October rainfall has been the second lowest on record for Australia as a whole, only coming in behind the same period for 1902. 

The year as a whole is likely to be in the 10 driest years on record.

The only exceptions are central to northern Queensland where tropical cyclone Trevor brought above average rainfall for the first few months of the year, and part of Western Australia’s Pilbara where tropical cyclone Veronica caused flooding along the coast.

Another month of above-average temperatures is expected in December, with BOM expecting 2019 to be among the top four hottest years on record.

But regardless of where it ranks, it will continue the trend of "very warm" years.

Dam levels have been dropping.
Dam levels have been dropping.
AAP

BOM said the extremely dry, warm conditions throughout 2019 were what caused the severe fires across the country this spring.

Hundreds of bushfires devastated parts of New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia throughout November. 

Australia’s driest spring follows our hottest summer - January 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded for every state and territory in the country.

For the world as a whole, BOM predicted 2019 will be in the top four warmest years on record, following the trend set by 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, which are currently the four hottest years. 

All of the top ten warmest years globally have occurred between 1998 and now. 

Of Australia’s ten warmest years only one - 1998 - occurred before 2005.

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