The numbers are in, and 2019 is officially Australia's warmest and driest year on record. The Bureau
of Meteorology's annual climate summary for 2019 was released today and provides an
authoritative account of the main features of the nation's weather last year.
For Victoria, 2019 was the fifth warmest year on record overall (averaging the maximum and
minimum temperatures) and the fourth warmest year on record for maximum temperatures.
Rainfall for 2019 in Victoria was mostly below average with large areas reporting annual totals in the
lowest 10% of their historical records. The exceptions were parts of the south that did receive near
average rainfall for the year.
Looking ahead, 2019's strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole has collapsed, removing its drying
influence from the rainfall outlook. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation remains neutral, so is not
providing a strong shift in rainfall and temperature patterns. With our main climate drivers likely to
have little impact in the coming months, the rainfall outlook for February to April is neutral, or 50:50,
for virtually all of Victoria. That means there are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than
But a 50:50 outlook doesn’t mean the long-range forecasters at the Bureau of Meteorology are just
taking a guess or that there is no indication of what's happening with our weather and climate. A
neutral rainfall outlook means there is a 50% chance of seeing above-average rainfall. It doesn’t
mean that the most likely rainfall will be spot-on average. A neutral season will typically bring quite
variable rainfall, with periods of above- or below- average rainfall. And areas of above or below
average rainfall tend not to be as widespread as during times when there is a strong signal from the
oceans and atmosphere.
It also means there is less chance of extremely wet or extremely dry conditions over large areas; a
good sign if drought or flood is a concern.
Average rainfall for February to April ranges from about 50 mm in the northwest to more than 200
mm in parts of the east.
The temperature outlook for February to April is warmer than average. Both maximum and
minimum temperatures are likely to be higher than usual. The highest chances—greater than
80%—are over parts of the east and reduce slightly to the west.
Check out the Annual Climate Summaries for more details about 2019 and the Climate Outlooks for
guidance on the start of 2020.