Australia — Perth’s December featured no rain for only the third time on record, according to weatherzone.com.au.
It was the driest December since 1997 – the last time that no rain was recorded.
Perth has had its second hottest year on record, and its driest since 2006, according to end of year Bureau of Meteorology statistics released today.
As residents in Toodyay recover from thedevastating bushfires that swept through the town this week, the climatic conditions for the 12 months preceding show that only 1978 was a warmer year in Perth. 2009 ended with an average maximum of 25 degrees compared to the long-term average of 23.3 degrees
And coupled with that, records show 2009 was Perth’s driest year since 2006, with a rainfall total of 608.2mm compared to the long term average of 751mm.
And the city recorded an average maximum for December of 31 degrees, the hottest December in terms of daytime temperatures since 1999, while it was also the warmest December in terms of overnight temperatures since 2002.
“Summer is the driest time of year in southwest Western Australia, so it is not unprecedented to have a rainless month at this time of year,” weatherzone.com.au meteorologist Matt Pearce said.
“However, it is quite unusual for the city to not even pick up a passing shower or storm, especially given how wet northern and inland parts of the state were as a result of Severe Tropical Cyclone Laurence.”
Nationally, a scorching end to 2009 has seen it become the third hottest year on record for Australia with the winter of 2009 the country’s hottest on record.
The average winter maximum temperature was 1.6 degrees above average, while the July to December period was also the warmest six-month period ever recorded.
Dick Whitaker, Senior Meteorologist at the Weather Channel, said Perth’s hot and dry trend continued across the country, and in capital cities.
“It is all ties up with lack of cloud cover, and it is tied up with the bigger picture. We only had three capital cities achieve average rainfall, and that is Darwin, Brisbane and Hobart,” said Mr Whitaker.
“Melbourne has had their 13th year in a row below average, and the most significant event in the whole year was in south eastern parts of South Australian and Victoria when we had that incredible heatwave culminating in the Black Saturday bushfires.
“And Perth has had some very hot weather and we saw the terrible bushfires in Toodyay which underlines how hot and dry it has been.
“These temperature patterns are consistent with the rising temperature trend we’ve been seeing across Australia for the last 50 years.”