2012 brought wild weather, not more rain

2012 brought wild weather, not more rain

28 February 2013

published by www.nz.sports.yahoo.com

New Zealand — It started cool and wet, ended hot and dry, and served up pretty much everything in between.

2012 was a year of significant contrasts, with floods, bushfires, record-breaking heatwaves and cyclones.

So it may seem hard to believe that the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says the overall figures weren’t much out of the ordinary.

Despite the topsy-turvy weather, Australia recorded near-average rainfall and only slightly above-average mean temperatures.

In its annual climate summary, the bureau said 2012 followed Australia’s wettest two years on record, with the rain initially showing no sign of letting up.

“At first glance, it might have looked like a return to normal,” climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins said in a statement.

A full-blown La Nina event brought heavy rain to much of the country early last year, with large parts of eastern Australia flooding between February and March.

Western Australia wasn’t let off, with severe tropical cyclone Lua battering parts of the state as it moved inland.

It was the seventh-wettest start to the year in 113 years of records, but in April the climate reversed and a long dry spell settled in.

Alice Springs endured 157 consecutive days without rain, smashing previous records, and the summer monsoon didn’t arrive before year’s end.

Spring brought a record 45-degree day in Victoria and bushfires in South Australia and Queensland, before some scorching days in summer.

Even though 2012 was just 0.11 degrees warmer than average, it’s been a hot decade.

“Despite the recent La Nina events, the past ten years have been warmer than any decade in the last century,” Dr Watkins said.


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