Climatologists see off a cold and wet 2021

Climatologists see off a cold and wet 2021

News
For the first time in five years no large parts of Australia have rainfall deficits and drought conditions. Photo by SkyWorks WA.

For the first time in five years no large parts of Australia have rainfall deficits and drought conditions. Photo by SkyWorks WA.

Aa

According to the Bureau of Meteorology's (BoM) annual climate statement, released last week, for the first time in five years no large parts of Australia have rainfall deficits and drought conditions.

Aa

IF you ask most farmers what the weather was like during 2021, you are undoubtedly going to hear that it was 'wet', so it may also surprise you to know that it was also the coolest year in nearly a decade.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology's (BoM) annual climate statement, released last week, for the first time in five years no large parts of Australia have rainfall deficits and drought conditions.

"For Western Australia as a whole, rainfall was nine per cent above average and it was the coolest year for WA since 2012," said senior climatologist Simon Grainger.

"Although the long-term trend meant that 2021 was 0.46 degrees above the 1961 to 1990 average.

"For south west WA, 2021 was the wettest for 57 years, that's since 1964 and it was 19pc above average."

The national average temperature that was 0.56o above the 1961 to 1990 climate reference period.

That meant 2021 came in as the 19th warmest year since national records began in 1910, but also the coolest year since 2012.

Particular standouts for the year were in the Gascoyne, where some areas recorded their highest annual rainfall, more than double the average.

As a nation, record November rainfall levels saw all drought deficiencies cleared.

Meaning nationally BoM is not monitoring any short to medium-term deficiency periods.

"The combination of a La Nina event, the residual effects of the Indian Ocean dipole and the positive phase of the southern annular mode, all of those contributed too Australia having it's wettest November on record," Mr Grainger said.

Previously the lack of rainfall in WA saw 11 water deficiency declarations (WDD) openned at the start of 2021.

However by the end of the year these were all closed.

"All water deficiency declarations have now been revoked," said Water Minister Dave Kelly.

"WDDs are specifically related to the supply of stock water by the State government for animal welfare purposes and, as such, water continues to be carted in specific, localised areas where necessary due to other factors."

The State government doesn't expect declarations to occur during the 2021/22 summer, however it did note that Salmon Gums in the Shire of Esperance is on 'watch and act'.

"Grass Patch and Salmon Gums were the last two areas to have their declarations revoked, which occurred in July, 2021," Mr Kelly said.

"These regions are on 'watch and act' as some farmers are reporting they may need to cart water over summer."

During 2021, Perth recorded 890 millimetres of rain in 2021, making it the wettest year since 1995.

While the year overall was slightly cooler, it finished off drier and warmer than average, with December seeing the State's rainfall reach 26pc below average and the temperature hit 1.69o above average.

This made December 2021 the third-warmest December on record overall.

Previous record holders were 3.4o in 2019 and 2.59o in 1972.

The hottest location for December went to Marble Bar, exceeding all other records for the past 120 years.

It had an average of 44.7o for December, recording 16 days with maximum temperatures at 45o or above.

Want weekly news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Farm Weekly newsletter.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by