BOM statistics reveal dry 2018
THE Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has revealed that 2018 was one of Australia's driest years.
Across the country rainfall was 11 per cent below the national average for the year at 412.8 millimetres.
This is 52.4mm less than the nation's average for 1961-1990 making it Australia's 39th-driest year in a record spanning 1900 to the present.
The rainfall was below average for very large areas, affecting central and southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, eastern South Australia, and Western Australia
While low rainfall has persisted over many areas of the southeast for more than 12 months, the positive Indian Ocean Dipole in spring significantly exacerbated drought conditions across the country.
BOM reported that the dry conditions were also somewhat consistent with long-term rainfall trends.
Low rainfall, low humidity, high wind speeds, and high daytime temperatures resulted in high evaporation, below-average soil moisture, and low streamflows during winter. Pan evaporation for June to August 2018 was the highest on record for the Murray-Darling Basin.