Queensland has endured its warmest winter on record with daytime temperatures soaring 2.24 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.
BOM’s analysis of weather data for the past three months also showed rainfall was well below average for most of the state.
Senior meteorologist Richard Wardle said the mean daily temperature for winter across the state was 26.05C, beating the previous warmest winter in 2009 by just 0.02C.
“In terms of daytime temperatures, the whole state was very much above average or the highest on record,” Mr Wardle said.
“Overnight temperatures were more than a degree above average for the whole of Queensland.”
Centres like Toowoomba on the Darling Downs recorded a mean daily maximum of 19.3C compared with the long term average of 17.3C, and Gympie’s mean daily maximum was 24.3C compared with the long-term average of 22.4C.
Other places to experience very warm winter temperatures were Charleville in the state’s south-west, where the mean daily maximum was 23.4C compared with the average of 20.5C, and Tewantin on the Sunshine Coast with 23.2C up on the long term average of 21.6C.
BOM said last month Australia had recorded its warmest July on record,
Rainfall among lowest in decades for winter
On the rainfall front, Mackay recorded its driest ever winter, receiving a mere 22.2 millimetres over the three months, compared with the long-term winter average rainfall of 128.9mm.
Winter falls for Rainbow Beach, Yeppoon and Proserpine were also among the lowest in decades.
Over June, July and August, Rainbow Beach had 84.6mm compared with the winter average of 274.3mm, Yeppoon had a mere 18.6 compared with 134.3mm, and Proserpine made do with just 4.2mm of rain compared with its 90mm winter average.
Mr Wardle said for winter 2017 “the story was really record warm days and dry for much of the state”.
“Winter rainfall was below average — basically if you draw a line from Cooktown to Birdsville, anything south of there was dry and then just north of that was about on average,” Mr Wardle said.
He said Brisbane was one of the few centres to experience near average rainfalls due to some good falls in June and July.
But Brisbane’s temperatures were consistent with the rest of the state.
“Brisbane had its warmest mean maximum temperature on record [for winter] of 23.5C, beating the previous record of 23.3C set back in 2004,” he said.
The outlook for spring was for the warmer than average temperatures to persist, but rainfalls should be above average in the south-east and average for the rest of the state.
“[It’s] looking like a typical spring in terms of rainfall, which is probably some of the best news we’ve had in terms of rainfall, because we have had those outlooks showing the chance of dryer than average conditions,” Mr Wardle said.
Article :Robyn Ironside Photo : Shelly Lloyd