Wettest autumn in a decade with the second hottest nights, Bureau of Meteorology says

Australia just had its wettest autumn since 2012, and it was the third-warmest autumn on record, with the second hottest nights.

It is the first day of winter, and the Bureau of Meteorology’s autumn data is in.

Not only was it wet, but it was the first time Australia has recorded above-average autumn rainfall in the decade since 2012.

Autumn rainfall was only 4 percent above average for Australia as a whole.

But it was particularly wet in New South Wales and the Murray-Darling basin, which both recorded their wettest autumn since 1990.

New South Wales’ rainfall was 60 per cent higher than the 1961 to 1990 average and seventh-highest on record, while the Murray-Darling Basin was 40 per cent above average.

This will come as no surprise to those in Sydney who are currently having their wettest year to date. Including their wettest autumn.

Large parts of eastern and western Australia recorded above-average rainfall, with parts of the mid-New South Wales coast, including Sydney and parts of the Gold Coast Hinterland on the New South Wales border in Queensland, recording their wettest autumns on record.

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temperature remains warm

It may have been wet, but it was still warm.

Overnight temperatures were the second-highest on record for the nation as a whole after 2016 and well above the 1961 to 1990 average.

Days were less impressive but still well above average, and when it came to mean temperatures, this was the third-warmest autumn on record.

It was particularly hot in the north, where the Northern Territory recorded its highest autumn daytime temperatures on record, relatively cooler nights bringing the mean down to the second warmest on record.

Map Aus
Even though it was wet, temperatures were still above average this autumn, with particularly hot days in the north.(Supplied: Bureau of Meteorology)

Queensland recorded its second warmest autumn nights and third highest mean temperatures on record.

A dry autumn is gone

It may have been wet for many, but it was definitely another story in the NT.

Darwin may have managed to scrape near average wet season rainfall, thanks to falls late last year, but the majority of the Northern Territory had below-average rainfall this autumn.

Map Aus blue over parts of east and west indicating above average rainfall but below average for the NT
Autumn was wetter than usual for much of the east and the west but rainfall was lower than usual for most of the Northern Territory.(Supplied: Bureau of Meteorology)

Likewise, parts of south-west Western Australia and western Tasmania had relatively dry autumns.

Even though Hobart was battered with heavy rainfall in May, Tasmania was also recorded below-average rainfall this autumn.

Meanwhile, even the cold front over the last few days couldn’t drag south-east South Australia and south-western Victoria above average.

So what’s next?

With the La Niña persisting and a negative Indian Ocean dipole expected to form over the Indian Ocean, most of the country is very likely to have above-average rainfall this winter.

But it is not expected to be wet everywhere.

South-west Western Australia and western Tasmania are expected to have below-average rainfall over the coming months, while cloud cover is expected to bring about low daytime temperatures through the center from coast to coast.

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