New South Wales, Victorian and South Australia had their hottest years on record in 2007, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. But cooler conditions in the north made it the sixth warmest year on record with a mean temperature of 0.67ºC above average.
NSW had its eleventh consecutive year above average and Victoria had its record mean annual temperature – 1.18ºC above the long term norm.
Annual rainfall was average to above average across northern and central Australia. But in the southwest it was average to below average. Meanwhile the Murray-Darling Basin has remained dry. The Bureau says the south-east of Australia has missed out on the equivalent of a year’s rainfall during the past 11 years making the present drought one of the worst on record.
Bureau climatologist Blair Trewin says expectations are that temperatures in Australia will continue to be warm although there will be year to year variation. The Bureau believes the warming trend is the direct result of climate change due to greenhouse gases.
Extreme weather is continuing with reports of bushfires destroying property in WA and Victoria while parts of Queensland and NSW are preparing for flash floods.
Meanwhile The Australian reports that while Australians have cut back dramatically to save water they are not keeping up with climate change as dam levels continue to fall. But had the restrictions not been imposed, the dams serving some capital cities would have dried up.