2021 became Australia's coldest year in almost a decade after the La Nina phenomenon caused wetter and cooler conditions across the country, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said on Thursday.
The BoM said that summary and contextual information regarding temperatures, rainfall, and significant weather for the 2021 calendar year shows no large parts of the country were experiencing rainfall deficits and drought conditions throughout the year, reports Xinhua news agency.
For Australia, the mean temperature in 2021 was 0.56 degrees above the 1961 to 1990 climate reference period (average).
It has been the 19th warmest year since national records began in 1910, but also the coolest year since 2012.
"2021 was actually almost 0.4 degrees cooler than the average temperature on record from 2011 to 2020," said BoM senior climatologist Simon Grainger.
"It was actually much cooler in 2021 than the last decade."
It has also been the wettest year since 2016, as the rainfall in 2021 was 9 per cent above the average.
"After three years of drought from 2017 to 2019, above-average rainfall last year resulted in a welcome recharge of our water storages but also some significant flooding to eastern Australia," Grainger said.
The above-average rainfall was observed for many areas in Australian states, causing significant flooding that occurred across eastern Australia, particularly in March, November and December.
Grainger explained the phenomenon was majorly influenced by the impacts of a negative Indian Ocean Dipole, a period of warmer than usual temperatures in the western Indian Ocean, and La Nina, a period of cooling of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
"The cooler and wetter conditions because of that meant we continued our recovery from the really extreme drought we had over the 2017-19 period."
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