WHILE Northern NSW experienced heavy rainfall and effects of Cyclone Debbie, the year 2017 was dominated by extended warm periods revealing alarming findings in the climate.
2017 was the warmest on record for the state according to The Bureau of Meteorology's annual climate statement.
BoM meteorologist Jordan Notara said annual mean temperatures for 2017 were "above to very much above average for the majority of Australia, and record warm for parts of northern New South Wales".
Mr Notara said it was a hot start to the beginning of the year.
"February 12 brought the hottest day on record for Casino in 23 years, with temperatures reaching 45.7C on that day," he said.
"It was the warmest year on record for NSW for both mean and daytime temperatures and the states second driest year on record since 2006."
These warm temperatures followed the warmest summer on record for the state.
"There's definitely been a trend for parts of the Northern Rivers to see the previous summer which was definitely above average, so we did see quite a broad area of temperature records being broken (in Febuary)," Mr Notara said.
The statement revealed overall it was Australia's third-warmest year on record, with the annual national mean temperature 0.95C above average.
Maximum and minimum temperatures warmer than average; particularly maxima, which were the second-warmest on record (1.27 °C above average).
Widespread warmth was persistent throughout the year, with March, July, August, October, and December all amongst the ten warmest on record for Australian mean temperature for their respective months.
The weather bureau have also looked ahead into the coming months.
"From January to March (2018) we are expecting parts of the Northern Rivers to see the influence the weak La Nina where we are seeing generally above average potential rainfall occurring," Mr Notara said.
"The rainfall will most likely be concentrated as we are heading in March and temperatures will tend to be on average."