Australia experienced its hottest year on record in 2019, according to data from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Temperatures were 1.52 degrees higher in 2019 than the long-term average, breaking the record set in 2013 of 1.33C, by 0.19 degrees.
A graph on the BOM website also shows the warming trend that Australia has experienced since 1910, with temperatures in most years prior to 1970 falling below the long-term average.
While the data has been updated, BOM is not expected to provide an official comment until it releases its annual climate statement on January 9.
This statement will include a comprehensive analysis of the year’s weather events and climate context, including any records of note.
Several other records were smashed in Australia last year, including the record for the country’s hottest day ever, which was broken twice in December.
On December 18 the average maximum temperature in Australia rose to 41.9C, just one day after a record of 40.9C was achieved.
Prior to that, Australia’s hottest day was recorded on January 7, 2013 when temperatures reached 40.3 degrees.
Two states also set new records for their hottest years on record. In NSW, temperatures reached 1.95C above the long-term average – 0.27C higher than the previous record set in 2018.
Western Australia also beat its previous heat record set in 2013 by 0.58C, with temperatures 1.67C higher than average.
The year’s highest daily maximum temperature in Australia was experienced on December 19 in Nullarbor, South Australia, when the mercury reached 49.9C. However, this failed to topple the record set in 1960 in Oodnadatta Airport of 50.7C.
The cinfirmation of a schriching 2019 comes as many parts of Australia – including NSW, Victoria, South Australia and parts of Queensland and Tasmania – have been gripped by a months-long bushfire crisis that has killed at least 18 people, destroyed more than 1300 homes and scorched more than 5.5 million hectares – an area far greater than Denmark or the Netherlands.
Another heatwave is forecast for Saturday with temperatures expected to exceed 40C in parts of Victoria and NSW.