Warm, wet year ends

LAST year the East Coast of Tasmania was wetter than average and the West Coast drier.

The Annual Climate Statement released last week by the Bureau of Meteorology won’t surprise those living on the East Coast who experienced heavy rain and floods at times during the year.

The report found rainfall in Tasmania was 1 per cent above average and it was the wettest year since 2016.

“It was relatively wet in the East of the state and drier in the West,’’ the BoM reported Temperatures statewide were warmer on average and overall 2021 was 0.39C above the 1961 to 1990 average.

However, nationally Australia had its coolest year in nearly a decade.

By the end of 2021 – for the first time in five years –no large parts of the country were experiencing rainfall deficits and drought conditions.

Bureau of Meteorology senior climatologist Dr Simon Grainger said after three years of drought from 2017 to 2019, above-average rainfall last year resulted in a welcome recharge of Australia’s water storages but also some significant flooding to eastern Australia.

“In 2021, Australia’s mean temperature was 0.56C above the 1961 to 1990 climate reference period.
“It was the 19th warmest year since national records began in 1910, but also the coolest year since 2012.
“Despite the cooling impacts of the negative Indian Ocean Dipole, a period of warmer than usual ocean temperatures in the western Indian ocean, and La Niña, a period of cooling of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, 2021 was warmer than average and warmer than historical La Niña years.

“Temperatures were above or very much above average for most of northern Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia’s west coast, but below average for parts of inland New South Wales, and around the southern border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
“Rainfall was 9 per cent above the 1961 to 1990 average, making 2021 the wettest year since 2016, with November the wettest on record.’’

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