Rainfall was also above average for a small area of the Pilbara coast in Western Australia. With low streamflows and limited runoff, there were only marginal increases to storages across the Southern Basin during the year and no meaningful inflows in the Northern Basin where storages remained extremely low or close to empty. This has been a significant contributor to the prolonged period of below average rainfall across much of Australia during the past three years, and the exceptional warmth of 2019. Evacuations were ordered for parts of Beechmont and Binna Burra in the Gold Coast Hinterland, and Stanthorpe and Applethorpe in the Granite Belt. With little rain during March, most of the large fires which had been alight since earlier in the season continued to burn within containment lines. Further information on the flooding can be found in Special Climate Statement An extended period of heavy rainfall and flooding in tropical Queensland. SSTs around Australia have warmed by around one degree since 1910, similar to the increase in temperature observed over land. Severe tropical cyclone Trevor was named off the east coast of Queensland's Cape York Peninsula early on 18 March, then intensified rapidly before making landfall just south of Lockhart River at category 3 strength on the 19th. The delayed northern Australian monsoon saw heat build over the north, which persisted through much of summer. The extreme heat during December also led to Australia's warmest week (week ending 24 December) and warmest month on record in terms of national area-averaged maximum temperature. By the end of 2019 water storage in the Northern Murray–Darling Basin had dropped to less than 7% of capacity. Both of these values exceed the previous record of 40.30 °C set on 7 January 2013. A positive IOD often results in below average winter–spring rainfall over southern and central Australia. Inflows into Lake Eyre / Kati Thanda from earlier in the year had left the Lake about half covered, with further inflows into Lake Eyre / Kati Thanda continuing throughout April, May, and June. ... 2019 was Australia's hottest and driest year on record. January–November rainfall has been the second-lowest on record for Australia as a whole (spanning 120 years), coming in behind only January–November 1902. Major flooding across western Queensland which had started in February, and was extended by heavy rainfall associated with ex-tropical cyclone Trevor at the end of March, continued into April. Mean maximum temperatures were the warmest on record at 2.09 °C above average, also well above the previous record, which was +1.59 °C in 2013. A large fire started west of Swansea on the East Coast, following lightning strikes in early December. In both States above average annual totals resulted from tropical systems which caused flooding in the first quarter of the year. Both of these values exceed the previous record of 40.30 °C set on 7 January 2013. The average annual soil moisture in 2019 was the lowest on record in five of the 26 river catchments of the Basin, and for the Basin as a whole was the third-lowest on record (behind 2018 and 2002). Several times over the three months, warm spells with high temperatures, very low humidity, and strong winds led to dangerous fire weather conditions. A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW), when the stratosphere high above the South Pole rapidly heated, began at the end of August, and was the strongest SSW event since 2002. The national rainfall dataset commences in 1900. Full details can be found in Special Climate Statement An extended period of heavy rainfall and flooding in tropical Queensland and report on tropical low 13U. The warmest year on record was 2016, 0.87 ± 0.1 °C above the 1961–1990 average. Nationally-averaged rainfall for 2019 was 40% below the 1961–1990 average of 465.2 mm. Major flooding occurred in a number of Gulf rivers, including the Cloncurry, Leichardt, Flinders, and Norman rivers, with resulting damage to communities, infrastructure, and extensive stock losses. January, March, and December were the warmest on record, with January and December exceeding their previous records by a substantial 0.98 °C and 1.08 °C respectively. Southern Tasmania experienced poor air quality from mid-January to early February, including at locations well removed from the actual fires, while smoke from northwestern Tasmania also reached Victoria in the first week of February. The Australian Northwest Cloudband: Climatology, Mechanisms, and Association with Precipitation, Journal of Climate (2019). From June SSTs were cooler than average in a large area to the north of Australia, associated with the developing positive IOD. Several datasets have been developed from this archive to identify, monitor and attribute changes in the Australian climate. In the absence of widespread rainfall, the fires continued to burn across a large area of eastern Australia at the end of the year, spread from southeast Queensland, through eastern New South Wales, and in northeastern Victoria and Gippsland. Temperatures in the mid to high 40s were observed across large areas, in cases for several consecutive days, including at Perth where temperatures reached 40 to 41 degrees each day from the 13th to 15th. A cold front and a low pressure system that crossed Victoria on 9 and 10 May brought heavy rainfall and flash flooding to Ballarat and Geelong, as well as snowfalls in the Victorian Alps. Widespread thunderstorm activity was observed across New South Wales associated with the passage of a strong cold front on 26 November. According to Köppen and Geiger, this climate is classified as Cfa. A persistence of stable and sunny conditions over much of the country combined with a delayed onset of the Australian monsoon over northern Australia to create ideal conditions for heat build-up. Lightning over the ranges to the east of Melbourne on the last day of February and first day of March, and again on the 4th, sparked multiple new fires. Low rainfall during 2019 resulted in increased severity of rainfall deficiencies across New South Wales and Queensland, parts of southeastern Australia, and the South West Land Division in Western Australia. The Victorian SES received more than 500 calls, mostly due to fallen trees and some building damage, while the New South Wales SES received close to 300 calls, mostly from the Illawarra and South Coast. Annual mean temperatures for 2019 were above average for nearly all of Australia, and highest on record for a large area of northern and eastern New South Wales, southeast Queensland, most of Western Australia extending from the Pilbara coast to northwest South Australia, and for an area of the Victoria River District in the Northern Territory. Frosts caused crop damage to some grain-growing regions in southern Australia. A fire at Port Lincoln, on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula, on the 12th burned about 5000 hectares and damaged at least 11 properties. In 2019, Australia experienced one of the driest and hottest years on record, seeing an average of 277.63 millimeters. Although March and April were wetter than average for some parts of eastern Australia, April was very much drier than average for eastern New South Wales and most of Victoria. Remained warmer than average for most of Australia, associated with the most for... 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