Mackay weather: There is an increased change of above average rainfall totals in a La Nina year.
Mackay weather: There is an increased change of above average rainfall totals in a La Nina year.

LOOKING BACK: Mackay, Whitsunday weather in 2020

Despite 2020 being the fourth hottest year on record for Australia, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday only experienced slightly higher temperatures.

However Bureau of Meteorologist climatologist Greg Browning said the figures were still “historically quite warm temps” especially considering it was a La Nina year.

Mackay recorded temperatures one degree above the daytime average, which sits at 27.5 degrees, and 0.9 degree above the night average of 20C.

Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays sat 0.4 degree above both the day average of 26.8C and night time average of 22.2C.

Mikayla Burgess from Mackay keeps an eye out for possible showers. Picture: Evan Morgan
Mikayla Burgess from Mackay keeps an eye out for possible showers. Picture: Evan Morgan

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Mr Browning said rainfall numbers also sat within the 90th percentile for the average yearly figures.

Mackay recorded 1450mm throughout 2020, which is 91 per cent of the yearly average totalling 1595mm.

While Hamilton Island received 1447mm, which is 99 per cent of its long-term average.

Mr Browning said figures for Bowen and Moranbah were a little restricted.

Bowen had average temperatures of 29.5C during the day with a minimum of 19.8C throughout the year.

And Moranbah had average day temperatures of 31C, dropping to 16.5C overnight. 

Wild weather whipping up the surf at North Wall, Mackay on Saturday, December 8, 2018.
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The annual rainfall figure for the Central Queensland town was 484.2mm for 2020.

Mr Browning said the rainfall figures were “quite interesting” as it was “quite patchy throughout the year”.

“There were quite a few dry months interspersed with wetter months,” he said.

“A few good heavy falls sometimes can make all the difference.”

Mr Browning said being La Nina there were more easterly winds that often kept temperatures down in coastal regions.

A car drives through heavy water on Mansfield Drive in Beaconsfield in 2020. Mackay weather.
A car drives through heavy water on Mansfield Drive in Beaconsfield in 2020. Mackay weather.

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BOM’s annual weather figures, released on January 8, showed a band along the coast from Townsville south to Maryborough that “probably had a fair bit to do with those easterly winds keeping temperatures down” in 2020.

Looking forward Mr Browning said there was still quite a high chance of above average rainfall over the next three months as well as increased cyclone activity.

“The peak period in Queensland is around now until March,” Mr Browning said.

“Cyclones are certainly an issue, waters are quite warm over the Coral Sea at the moment.”