LAST year was officially the driest and hottest 12 months Australia has ever experienced.
The annual climate statement from the national Bureau of Meteorology revealed the average daytime temperature across the country was 30.7°C, 2.1° above the average temperature.
In Echuca, the average temperature for 2019 was 24.0, the equal second highest of all-time (alongside 2009 and 2014) and just 0.1° below the record set in 2018.
The total rainfall for last year was registered at 243.2mm, well below 2018's total of 273.6mm.
Although it still sits well below the average across all records of 425.1mm.
“2019 was consistently warm, but it was book-ended by periods of extreme heat,” Bureau of Meteorology head of climate monitoring Dr Karl Braganza said.
“January last year was the warmest month Australia has ever recorded, while just a few weeks ago in December, we saw the Australia-wide record hottest daily average maximum temperature broken multiple days in a row.
“At the same time, rainfall deficiencies across large parts of eastern Australia have continued to increase, unfortunately exacerbating both drought conditions and the current bushfires.”
While he added there are multiple factors contributing to the country's conditions.
“Most of this year, Australia's climate has been dominated by a very strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole, which acted to both warm and dry Australia's landscape, particularly from around the middle of the year,” he said.
“We also saw the influence of a rare Sudden Stratospheric Warming event high above the south pole, which acted to push our weather systems northward and compound the warmer and drier than average conditions over southern Queensland and New South Wales during spring, amplifying the fire weather.
“The other key factor at play is that Australia's climate has warmed by more than a degree since 1910, which means very warm years like 2019 are now more likely to occur.”