2nd October 2023 – (Sydney) The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has officially confirmed that September 2023 has become the driest month in Australia’s recorded history since 1900. With a national average rainfall of a mere 4.83 mm, the month experienced an unprecedented positive anomaly of mean sea level pressure, resulting in cloud-free conditions across most parts of the country.
The BOM’s recently released national climate summary reveals that Australia, as a whole, received only 29.2% of the average rainfall recorded from 1961 to 1990 for the month of September. The southern two-thirds of the country reported below-average rainfall, while only small pockets, such as parts of the eastern Cape York Peninsula in Queensland and the far northeast corner of the Top End in the Northern Territory, received above-average precipitation.
In addition to the exceptionally dry conditions, September also witnessed soaring temperatures. The national mean temperature for the month was 2.43 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, making it the third-warmest September on record since 1910.
The BOM highlighted that Western Australia (WA) experienced its warmest September on record, while New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia marked their second-warmest September on record. These elevated temperatures exacerbate concerns about climate change and its impact on Australia’s weather patterns.
Specific data from the BOM revealed that on 28th September, the temperature soared to a scorching 42.8 degrees Celsius at Mandora in northern WA. Such extreme heat underscores the urgency of addressing climate change and adopting measures to mitigate its effects.
The implications of Australia’s driest September on record are far-reaching. The lack of rainfall poses significant challenges for the agricultural sector, which heavily relies on water availability for crop cultivation and livestock management. Drought conditions further exacerbate concerns for farmers, who face the prospect of reduced yields, water shortages, and increased financial strain.
Furthermore, the dry conditions heighten the risk of bushfires, particularly as the country approaches its summer season. Vegetation becomes more susceptible to ignition, increasing the potential for devastating wildfires. The combination of dry landscapes and high temperatures creates a dangerous environment that demands heightened preparedness and response measures from authorities and communities alike.
Australia’s changing climate patterns are a cause for concern, with increasing evidence pointing to the influence of human activities on global warming. The severity and frequency of extreme weather events, such as droughts and heatwaves, have raised alarm bells among scientists and policymakers. Urgent action is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition to renewable energy sources, and implement sustainable practices to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The BOM’s findings serve as a stark reminder of the need for robust climate change policies and proactive measures to adapt to a changing climate. Australia, as a nation vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, must prioritize investment in climate resilience, water management strategies, and sustainable agricultural practices.