Last year was a hot and wet one for the Clarence Valley, with some rainfall records broken and above average temperatures recorded.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Wooli Beach saw a new record in total rainfall, with 2201.6mm recorded in 2020, eclipsing the previous record of 2004.8mm set in 2011.

Grafton Research Station also had its wettest year since 1959, with 1600.2mm recorded.

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Yamba's Pilot Station saw 1746.6mm of rainfall in 2020, which was around 20 per cent higher than the average annual rainfall total for the station. Grafton Airport AWS saw a total of 1527.8mm last year, a 33 per cent increase on the station's rainfall average.

Meanwhile Grafton experienced its third driest November since 1917 with just 7mm of rain recorded, immediately followed by its wettest December in 164 years of data, recording 513mm.

Mean rainfall deciles for 2020.
Mean rainfall deciles for 2020.

BOM senior climatologist Dr Lynette Bettio said for NSW, rainfall was above average for most of the state.

"That was a real contrast to what we saw in 2019 with those extreme drought conditions across the state," she said.

"Starting to relieve some of those drought conditions we saw good rainfall at the start of the year which helped out with those winter crops but we do still need to see more rainfall in the coming months to really relieve that long-term drought that we did see in 2019 but it was a good start.

"With temperatures they were above average across most of NSW except for the southwest, and it was a very warm spring with the mean minimum temperature overall the warmest since 1914 in NSW."

Mean temperature deciles for 2020.
Mean temperature deciles for 2020.


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Yamba Pilot Station and Grafton Airport AWS mean minimum and maximum temperatures were above the average.

The mean maximum temperature for Yamba was 24.4C, 1C above the average. The mean minimum temperature was 16.5C in Yamba, again 1C above average.

At Grafton Airport AWS the mean maximum temperature for 2020 was 26.2C, 0.3C above average while the mean minimum temperature was 13.3C, 0.5C above average.

Australia's climate in 2020 infographic.
Australia's climate in 2020 infographic.


Fast facts for NSW

• Rainfall was above average for most of the state.

• A succession of complex lows in winter and spring brought heavy rain, flooding and coastal erosion from the South Coast to Mid-North Coast and Northern Rivers regions.

• Temperatures were above average across most of NSW except for the southwest.

• February to April saw three consecutive months of below average mean maximum temperatures, the first such period for any months since 2012.

• It was very warm in spring, with the mean minimum temperature overall was the warmest since 1914.

• Sydney's rainfall for 2020 as a whole was 28 per cent above average. It was the wettest year for Observatory Hill since 1998.

• Sydney's mean maximum and mean minimum temperatures were above average, but days were not as warm as 2019.

• Penrith Lakes reached 48.9C on January 4, the highest temperature ever recorded in the Sydney Basin.