2019 was the hottest and driest year on record in Australia, and even though the heat records were largely contained to the mainland, Tasmania was still 0.4 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.
The Bureau of Meteorology released its Annual Climate Statement 2019 on Thursday, showing Australia was 1.52 degrees above average for the year - surpassing the previous record of 1.33 degrees in 2013.
The year started and finished with extreme heat - January being the warmest month on record for Australia, while December saw daily average maximum temperature records broken on consecutive days.
BOM head of climate monitoring Karl Braganza said the record warm and dry spells were key factors in the current fire conditions.
"2019 was consistently warm, but it was book-ended by periods of extreme heat," he said.
Temperature anomaly in Australia in 2019:
"At the same time, rainfall deficiencies across large parts of eastern Australia have continued to increase, unfortunately exacerbating both drought conditions and the current bushfires."
Tasmania's 0.4 degrees above the average temperature was a slight decline on recent years of warming, while rainfall was below average for most of the state, but above average in the West.
Tasmania's maximum temperatures were 0.64 degrees above the long-term average, and rainfall was a 7 per cent departure from the mean.
NSW, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Australia as a whole experienced their hottest year on record.
NSW, South Australia and the Murray-Darling Basin also experienced their lowest rainfall years on record.
Rainfall anomaly in Australia in 2019:
Dr Braganza said there were a range of factors influencing Australia's weather patterns in 2019 - from a very strong Indian Ocean Dipole acting as a warming and drying influence, and a rare Sudden Stratospheric Warming event above the south pole.
"[This] acted to push our weather systems northward and compound the warmer and drier than average conditions over southern Queensland and New South Wales during spring, amplifying the fire weather," he said.
"The other key factor at play is that Australia's climate has warmed by more than a degree since 1910, which means very warm years like 2019 are now more likely to occur, while the trend in recent decades has been for drier winter and spring seasons in the south."
Rainfall for the coming months is expected to be average to below average, including across Tasmania.