2018 was the third warmest year on record, with rainfall totals falling to their lowest levels since 2005, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM) Annual Climate Statement.
The Bureau’s senior climatologist, Dr Lynette Berrio, said that the report found that the average temperature in 2018 was 1.14 °C above the 1961–1990 average, making it slightly warmer than 2017.
"When we look across all of Australia in 2018, we can see that every single state and territory had above-average day and night-time temperatures," Dr Bettio said.
"The average maximum temperature for the country as a whole was particularly warm, sitting 1.55 °C above the 1961–1990 average, making 2018 Australia's second warmest year on record for daily high temperatures.
"Average minimum temperatures for 2018 were 0.73 °C above average, the eleventh-warmest on record.
"The only part of the country to buck the trend for above average temperatures was the Kimberley region, which had cooler than average nights for the year."
The 2018 results mean nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.
Nationally, Australia's 2018 rainfall total was 11 per cent below the 1961–1990 average, but many areas were significantly below average.
"Large areas of southeastern Australia experienced rainfall totals in the lowest 10 per cent on record, which exacerbated the severe drought conditions. New South Wales had its sixth driest year on record, while the Murray-Darling Basin saw its seventh-driest year on record. Australia's September rainfall was also the lowest on record.
"It was a tough year for people dealing with the drought, and like the rest of the country, the Bureau hopes 2019 will bring some rain relief for those being impacted by the dry conditions.
"We did see some respite in the final three months of the year with decent rainfall in the east of the country, particularly in New South Wales in October and November and parts of Queensland in October and December.
"We did see some parts of northern Australia receive above-average rainfall in 2018, particularly in Western Australia, as did that state's southeast."