Weather: Bureau of Meteorology reveals Australia recorded third-hottest summer in history

Australia has sweltered through it’s third-hottest summer ever recorded, cracking a grim climate record above the country’s 30 year average.

Statistics released by the Bureau of Meteorology this week reveals the country experienced its third hottest December-February period on record, 1.62C above the 1961-1990 30-year average.

It marks the third warmest summer since national records began being kept in 1910 – only behind previous records set in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The national mean maximum temperature was 1.73C above average and the national mean minimum temperature was 1.5C above average.

Western Australia sweated through a particularly hot summer.

Its mean temperature was 1.90C above average – making it the state’s hottest summer on record.

“Mean maximum temperatures were above average for Tasmania, most of Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Queensland and parts of northwestern and far eastern Victoria,” the bureau said.

“Summer mean minimum temperatures were above average for nearly all of Australia and highest on record for southeastern Queensland, northeastern New South Wales, Cape York Peninsula and parts of inland Western Australia and the Top End of the Northern Territory.”

The high averages were driven by heatwaves in most of the country in December and February while in January temperatures soared in Western Australia, as well as the central and southern states.

The hottest day recorded over the summer was 49.9C on February 18 at Carnarvon Airport in Western Australia.

The coldest temperature recorded in the period was 4.6C at Tasmania’s Mount Read on December 30.

It was also a wet summer with rainfall 18.9 per cent above the average.

While rainfall for the season was above average for most of eastern Australia, “areas in western and central Western Australia, southern Northern Territory and Tasmania had a drier than average summer,” the bureau said.

“Significant flooding, associated with tropical systems, affected large areas of northern Australia during summer, while severe thunderstorm activity brought extensive flooding to parts of the eastern and southeastern mainland,” the bureau said.

Looking ahead to Autumn, the bureau says to expect warmer days and nights.

“(The bureau’s long-range forecast) shows most of Australia has at least an 80 per cent chance of above average temperatures this autumn,” the bureau said.

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