BOM confirms influence of El Niño, looks back on 2015


It was a another hot, dry year for 2015… like we needed much reminding.

Patches of wet weather across the state in the past week have buoyed hopes for a shift to wetter climes but, for the year just past, some interesting statistics to ponder.

In the Bureau of Meteorology’s annual climate statement, Queensland temperatures were reportedly well above average and rainfall noticeably well below.

It’s a testament echoed across the country.

Acting Assistant Director for Climate Information Services, Dr Scott Power, said temperatures ranked as the fifth warmest on record for Australia in 2015.

“The national mean temperature was 0.83°C above average, with a number of notable heatwaves during the year and record-breaking temperatures from October to December,” he said.

Dr Power said the Bureau declared an El Niño in early May and it went on to develop into the most significant El Niño in nearly two decades, ranking alongside the El Niños of 1997–98 and 1982–83.

Long-term drought in Queensland continued, following three successive poor wet-seasons, and a slow start to the 2015–16 wet season.

Drought areas increased through Victoria, South Australia and southwest Western Australia throughout 2015.

Nationally, Australian temperatures have warmed approximately one degree Celsius since 1950, consistent with global climate trends.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, 2015 is almost certain to be the warmest year on record globally.