Australia warmer, wetter in 2022

Persistent rain and heatwaves smashed into Australia in 2022, making the year one of the country's hottest and wettest on record.

Climate data for the 2022 calendar year released by the Bureau of Meteorology on Friday shows the effects of climate change on the nation plus localised climate drivers such as La Nina.

Overall, the national mean temperature was 0.5 C warmer than the 1961-1990 average, making 2022 the equal 22nd warmest year on record since 1910 when national records began.

It was also the ninth-wettest year on record, with national rainfall 25 per cent above the 1961-1990 annual average and widespread flooding hitting Australia's east.

"Rainfall was very much above average for the south-eastern quarter of the mainland, where persistent rain saw significant flooding affecting large areas, multiple times during the year," said meteorologist Jenny Sturrock.

"Rainfall was below average for western Tasmania, much of the north of the Northern Territory, and the far south-west of Western Australia."

Across Australia, water storage levels were high during 2022 due to this excessive rainfall. However, levels were low in parts of Queensland, Tasmania, NSW and Victoria.

"The year was characterised by wetter than average conditions across much of eastern Australia," Ms Sturrock said.

"Climatologically, these conditions were consistent with the wet phase of natural climate variability for our region - namely a La Nina, a negative Indian Ocean Dipole in winter and spring, and a persistently positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode from mid-autumn."

This past La Nina was the third in a row, marking only the fourth time that three successive La Nina events have been recorded since 1900.

Most of northern Australia, Tasmania and parts of the country's west coast experienced higher than average temperatures while severe to extreme heatwaves impacted parts of the north and west.

NSW, southern Queensland and regions in South Australia experienced below average temperatures.

"Annual minimum temperatures were above or very much above average for most of Australia," Ms Sturrock said.

This recent BOM data echoes trends predicted by last year's State of the Climate report which found increased risk of flooding, fires and higher temperatures nationwide.

"The 2022 State of the Climate report found Australia is experiencing climate change now, with impacts being felt by many communities and industry sectors," Ms Sturrock said.