2010 is Australia's third wettest year since 1900

18:22, January 05, 2011      

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Australia experienced its third wettest year on record during 2010, with 11 months of above-average rainfall soaking the east of the country due to the La Nina weather system, latest weather report showed on Wednesday.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology's annual climate statement, the sequence of below-average-rainfall, which began in 2001, has been broken.

The bureau's report on 2010 revealed that Australian mean rainfall total for 2010 was 690mm, well above the long-term average of 465mm.

2010 was Australia's wettest year since 2000, and the third- wettest year since records started in 1900.

According to Australia Associated Press, state of Queensland recorded its wettest year on record in 2010, while it was the third wettest in the Northern Territory, New South Wales and South Australia. Victoria experienced its fifth wettest year on record.

However, not all areas were very wet last year, with Western Australia's south-west recording its driest year and Tasmania having near to average rainfall.

National Climate Center's David Jones said the La Nina caused major flooding across parts the country.

"It really has been a year of extremes, with the two major hailstorms in Sydney and Perth and then most recently the very severe floods that we're seeing in Queensland at the moment," he told ABC News on Wednesday.

Despite the wet year, the bureau said the decade ending in 2010 was the hottest since records began more than a century ago, adding that Australia's climate continues to warm even though individual years may buck this trend.

Meanwhile, sea surface temperatures in the Australian region during 2010 were 0.54 degrees Celsius above the 1961 to 1990 average.

The bureau said the past decade was also the warmest on record for sea surface temperatures.

Source: Xinhua
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