Australia recorded its fourth-warmest year on record during 2020 but for Ballarat it was a year right on the average temperature and wetter than normal.
High temperatures, drought, intense rain and giant hail impacted Australia during a year of weather extremes in 2020 according to the Bureau of Meteorology's annual climate statement.
And a new study has warned that climate change will intensify bushfires throughout south eastern Australia.
National temperatures in 2020 were 1.15 degrees above average and followed Australia's hottest and driest year on record in 2019.
But Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Blair Trewin said Ballarat was about 10 per cent wetter than average in 2020 - recording about 750mm of rain.
Ballarat's rainfall gauge was broken for 18 days in August but readings in Bungaree and White Swan both indicated about 100mm of rainfall over that period, which was added to the city's official total of 655mm of rain.
"August and April in particular were significantly wetter than average, but overall it was fairly similar to 2016," Mr Trewin said.
While our daytime and overnight minimum temperatures were close to the long term average, the daytime average temperature was actually the lowest it has been since 2011.
"We have a fairly significant long term warming trend so a year equal to the long term average is more of an exception," he said.
The current La Nina weather pattern means higher than average rainfall is likely from February to April but temperatures are likely to be a little cooler.
"In a La Nina year in southern Victoria, on the one hand you tend to see fewer really extreme individual days in the 40s, but what you do often see in a La Nina year is prolonged periods of moderate heat so. When you look at cases where there are six days or more in a row over 30, those are predominantly La Nina years," he said.
The evaluation comes after a new report found climate change made the 2020 bushfires more intense and that the risks associated with climate change and higher temperatures would escalate.
"There's a whole range of ways climate change increases our bushfire risk, not just that it gets hotter and bushfires get worse," said lead author Nerilie Abram from the Australian National University.
The research, published in the Communications Earth & Environment journal, found the warming climate contributed to elevating the threat, drying out fuel loads and intensifying worsening bushfire weather.
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It has also found the projected continued reduction in winter and spring rainfall, a trend already observed in Victoria to be another key exacerbating factor in forest fires.
Although the research focussed on bushfire, Professor Abram said climate change would lead to larger swings between El Nino and La Nina weather patterns, both of which could impact on local conditions through hotter, drier temperatures or increased rainfall leading to extra grass growth.
"A lot of the response we've seen in Australia following the black summer has been around what we can do to build the resilience of communities so we are better able to cope with these kind of disasters. We definitely need to be doing that ... but at the same time cant take our eye off the fact that the underlying problem why fires are getting worse is the link to climate change."