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A look back at 2016

Ben Domensino, Thursday January 5, 2017 - 12:11 AEDT

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology released its Annual Climate Statement for 2016 today.

For Australia as a whole, 2016 was the fourth warmest year on record, behind 2013, 2005 and 2014. It was also the 15th wettest year on record and the wettest since 2011.

A notable feature during the year were record warm sea surface temperatures surrounding the country. This warm water helped keep air temperatures higher than usual in most capital cities and provided the moisture for above-average rainfall across much of the country during the middle of the year.

May-to-September was the wettest such period on record, including the second wettest winter. This period resulted in widespread and prolonged river flooding across large parts of central and southeast Australia, including many areas of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Here's how Australia's capital cities fared during 2016:

Sydney - Warmest year on record and wettest since 2007
Melbourne - Seventh warmest year on record and near-average rainfall
Brisbane - Warmest year on record and below average rainfall
Perth - Coldest year in 11 years and wettest in three years despite below average rainfall
Adelaide - Second wettest year on record and coolest in four years
Hobart - Warmest year on record and wettest in seven years
Canberra - Third warmest year on record and wettest in six years
Darwin - Warmest year on record and driest in 14 years

These statistics are based on annual rainfall totals and the combined minimum and maximum average temperature throughout 2016.

The BoM's Annual Climate Statement analysed data at weather stations around Australia and compared this to historical records dating as far back as 1910 for temperature observations and 1900 for rainfall.

There are currently over 100 observation stations making up Australian national temperature record, which is called the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network ?? Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) dataset. More than half of these stations have been operational since 1910.

Australia's annual average rainfall dataset is calculated using observations from around 300 stations, stretching across the country from Warruwi (NT) in the north, Carnarvon Airport (WA) in the west, Sandford (TAS) in the south and Cape Moreton Lighthouse (QLD) in the east.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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