2010 - one of the warmest years on record?

It might come as a surprise to many people in Australia that globally, the year 2010 is almost certain to rank in the top three warmest years on record and may well be the hottest yet. This was the message from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in a press release on 3 December.

In contrast, Australia's average temperatures so far during 2010 have been cooler than the past eight years although still above the long term average.

Dr David Jones, Climate Monitoring and Prediction Manager at the Bureau, said high rainfall and cloud across much of Australia has kept daytime temperatures down during most of the year. However warmer than average nights were experienced over much of the country, resulting in Australia's 2010 average temperatures so far exceeding the long term average.

Coupled with warm sea-surface temperatures around northern Australia, a significant La Niña event during 2010 has led to above average to record rainfalls in northern and eastern areas. These heavy rains have led to substantial relief and, in many cases, serious flooding in many drought affected areas including the Murray-Darling Basin.

The Bureau will release its 2010 Annual Climate Statement in early January 2011. The statement provides a summary and analysis of rainfall and temperatures for Australia for the 2010 year. Later in February, the Bureau will publish its Annual Climate Summary, a more comprehensive report.

Further information about seasonal rainfall and temperature outlooks is available on the Bureau's website.