Last year was hotter and dryer

By Rodney Woods

The country’s chief weather forecaster has suggested 2018 will be one of the 10 warmest years on record.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s preliminary end-of-year results also revealed the worst kept secret — that 2018 was a drier than average year for Victoria and NSW.

All major towns across the southern Riverina and northern Victoria recorded well below their yearly average, with Finley recording just 90.7mm compared to its normal 12-month average of 430.4mm.

It was not the only NSW town to experience drought conditions; Deniliquin received 190.3mm in 2018, when its average total rainfall for a year is 393.6mm.

In northern Victoria, Shepparton recorded 266.4mm, down from its yearly average of 442.7mm; Kerang recorded 224.4mm (375.7mm); and Cobram 277.5mm (467.1mm).

While every town failed to reach its average rainfall totals, Euroa (474.4mm), Mangalore (432.8mm) and Benalla (400.6mm) recorded upwards of 400mm.

Looking ahead, the bureau’s January to March climate outlook said there was no strong push towards a wetter or drier than average season during those months, and warmer than average days and nights are likely for almost all of Australia during the same period.