The Australian Bureau of Meteorology's Annual Climate Summary for 2010, released yesterday, confirms the year was one of extremes for many parts of the country.
Key points include:
*The year, which began with El Nino conditions in the Pacific before rapidly transitioning to La Nina conditions during the autumn, was Australia's second-wettest on record, after 1974 (also a La Nina year);
*Heavy rains fell in the second half of the year across northern and eastern Australia, making it Queensland's wettest year on record;
*Parts of southeast Australia recorded above-average rainfall for the first year since 1996, providing relief from the long drought;
*It was the driest year on record for southwest Western Australia, continuing a long-term drying trend;
*The widespread heavy rainfall was associated with 2010 being Australia's coolest year since 2001, although it was still warmer than the 1961 to 1990 average;
*The past decade (2001-2010) was the warmest on record for Australia;
*Sea surface temperatures around Australia were the highest on record;
*Globally, the World Meteorological Organization ranks 2010 as the world's equal warmest year, with 2005 and 1998; and
*Global sea levels reached a new high in 2010.
You can download report here