What’s up with the weather?

Has anyone else noticed that the weather we have been experiencing over the summer (since December 1st, 2023) has been odd?
The full yearly review by BOM is due out in a few weeks, but here is their summary:

Warmer than average for Australia and close to average rainfall overall

  • Australia’s equal eight-warmest year on record with the national mean temperature 0.98 °C warmer than the 1961–1990 average. 
  • Both the mean annual maximum and minimum temperatures were above average for all States and the Northern Territory. 
  • Widespread warmth throughout the second half of the year, as the mean national temperature was among the ten warmest on record for their respective month for June, July, August, September, November and December.
  • Between October to December parts of northern and central Australia were affected by frequent low-to-severe intensity heatwave conditions.
  • Nationally-averaged rainfall was 1.7% above the 1961–1990 average at 474.02 mm. 
  • Rainfall was above average for much of northern Australia, but below average for Tasmania, much of the south-eastern quarter of Queensland, parts of northern New South Wales and western and southern Western Australia, and parts of southern Victoria and eastern and south-western South Australia. 
  • In the first quarter of 2023, Australia experienced multiple major flood events mostly across inland and northern regions.
  • The August to October period was Australia’s driest three month period on record since 1900. 
  • Surface water storages declined in 2023, including those in the Murray–Darling Basin. However, Australia’s total surface water storage volume remained high at the end of 2023 (75.3% of its accessible capacity).
  • The major feature of the climate of 2023 was extreme and record-breaking warmth in the global oceans, record-breaking warmth for combined land and ocean temperatures, and a large reduction in annual sea ice around Antarctica.
  • The main climate drivers active during 2023 were La Niña, which weakened and dissipated through summer 2022–23 and El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, which were established in early spring.
Well, that was last year – what about our weather since Christmas?
Days on end of Easterlies, very few not Northerlies followed by the usual cooling SW change?
The Climate Council, a not-for-profit self described as “Australia’s own independent, evidence-based organisation on climate science, impacts and solutions” headed by Tim Flannery on its website says this:
Our summer so far

Early to mid spring felt very typical of El Niño. The August to October period was Australia’s driest three months on record since 1900. Fires started early in Victoria and New South Wales, and Queensland lost more homes to fire than the state had lost during the devastating 2019-20 ‘Black Summer’ fires.

By late spring the picture began to change, and November saw above-average rainfall in Victoria and New South Wales. The first days of summer saw heavy downpours continue in eastern Victoria and southern New South Wales, leaving communities wading through flood waters. Some had only just finished battling fires. Up north, Cyclone Jasper, a powerful and long-lasting tropical cyclone, dumped enormous volumes of rain over Far North Queensland. The Daintree River peaked at more than two metres above its previous record and Cairns was cut off in all directions by floodwaters.

Late December brought more challenges. Over the Christmas period millions of Australians down the east coast were hammered by severe thunderstorms and heavy downpours. Tragically, at least ten people were killed. Meanwhile, many West Australians continued to face dangerous fires and extreme heat.”

Lately we have even had farmers and graziers blaming the BOM for the forecasts last year of a dryer than normal summer causing them to de-stock, and now that it has been wet, they need stock?

For mine, IF it feels like we have been having odd weather, then we probably have been! It certainly seems out of character – but maybe that’s just me?

It will be interesting to see what we get during the circumnavigation of Tasmania starting on February 14 from Hobart! I am tipping some very variable, “out of the norm” weather with calms and storms – not at the same time!