2013 was Australia’s warmest year since records began in 1910. Mean temperatures across Australia have generally been well above average since September 2012. Long periods of warmer-than-average days have been common, with a distinct lack of cold weather. Nights have also been warmer than average, but less so than days.
The Australian area-averaged mean temperature for 2013 was +1.20 °C above the 1961–1990 average. Maximum temperatures were +1.45 °C above average, and minimum temperatures +0.94 °C above average. Temperatures were above average across nearly all of Australia for maximum, mean and minimum temperatures, with large areas of inland and southern Australia experiencing the highest on record for each.
Australia has experienced just one cooler-than-average year (2011) in the last decade. The 10-year mean temperature for 2004–2013 was 0.50 °C above average, the equal-highest on record. Averages for each of the ten-year periods from 1995–2004 to 2004–2013 have been amongst the top ten records.
The Australian mean rainfall total for 2013 was 428 mm (37 mm below the long-term average of 465 mm). In comparison with rainfall in all years since 1900, 2013 sits close to the median or mid-point of historical observations.
Annual rainfall was below average across a large region of the inland east centred on western Queensland and extending into northern South Australia and the Northern Territory. Rainfall was above average over parts of the Pilbara and the south coast of Western Australia, as well as along the east coast and northern Tasmania.
Historically, only a very short time period of just over a century is covered, although this is more than a lifetime of data for most of us. I wonder what Australians make of it?Back to top