BALLARAT’S 2018 was almost 1.5 degrees warmer than its long term average as Victoria had another year in the top 10 of all time.
Nationally the figure is even more stark with the country experiencing its third hottest year in history and that’s a long-term trend unlikely to break any time soon as every year since 1978 has been above the 1961-90 average for mean temperatures.
In Ballarat, the average maximum temperature for the year was 18.9 degrees, compared to the long term average of 17.6 degrees.
Nights were also warmer than normal, averaging 7.4 degrees, slightly up on the long term average of 7 degrees, but interestingly the four coldest months of the year, June through to September all saw nights less than the long term average.
Ballarat’s winter was the only time of the year the temperature hovered close to normal with temperatures within a degree of the usual. Summer, however had temperatures up to three degrees above normal.
All but one of the country's top 10 hottest years have occurred since 2005, a result "in line with long-term trends resulting from anthropogenic climate change", the Bureau of Meteorology said in its summary on 2018's national weather.
“Up until the middle of December, more than two-thirds of Australia was recording very much above average daytime temperatures for 2018,” it said.
“Pockets of the nation, such as East Gippsland and inland northern NSW, were enduring their hottest year on record for maximums.”
North of Ballarat, New South Wales experienced one of its hottest years.
"It's very likely that NSW will be among the warmest three years on record for both mean temperatures and maximum temperatures," Bureau meteorologist Skye Tobin said.
Melbourne itself had a "very dry year", while maximum temperatures will come in about a degree above the norm, Ms Tobin said.
Across the world, temperatures are now about 1.1 degrees above the pre-industrial times.
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