From Australia's record-breaking temperatures to a deadly polar vortex, 2019 has been a year of extreme weather

Australia's burning forests and record breaking temperatures cap a year defined by tumultuous weather events that saw devastating floods, deadly heatwaves and catastrophic droughts.

  • January

Snow chaos in Atlanta. Credit: AP

The US Midwest was blasted by temperatures of minus 35C - with a wind chill as low as minus 50C - as a polar vortex swept in from the Arctic.

While it is not unusual for this part of the US to get very cold weather, this frozen front - the worst in decades - was particularly chilling, forcing many offices and shops to close and leaving at least 21 dead.

  • February

People enjoying the warmth in February in Norfolk. Credit: ITV News

Several British weather records tumbled in February as the country basked in unseasonal warmth with temperatures soaring to 21.2C in Kew, London - the warmest winter day ever registered in the UK.

  • May

Residents inspect a house after tornadoes tore across Indiana and Ohio. Credit: AP

The United States' wettest 12-month period came to a soggy end in May after 95.7cm (37.68 inches) - 19.6cm (7.73 inch) above average - of rain fell from June 2018 to May 2019.

The exceptionally stormy conditions generated some 500 tornado reports - more than double the three-year average of 226.

  • June

Small pieces of ice float in the water in Nuuk Fjord, Greenland after milder weather accelerated the ice melt. Credit: AP

Temperatures soared to well above normal levels in Greenland in June with a high of just over 17C recorded by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting, a whopping 22C above normal.

  • July

The summer monsoon in India saw more extreme rainfall events than usual. Credit: AP

New Delhi in India recorded its hottest July ever: just over 65% of India's population was exposed to temperatures of over 40C between May and June, while the summer monsoon saw 560 extreme rainfall events, 74% more than in 2018.

People punting on the river in Cam. Credit: AP

England's temperature record was smashed in July when the mercury hit 38.7C (101.7F) in Cambridge - Britain's hottest day since records began.

People enjoy the sun and the fountains of the Trocadero gardens in Paris, Thursday July 25, 2019, when a new all-time high temperature of 42.6C Credit: AP

A heatwave that hit France in July saw record-high temperatures of 45.9 C (114.6 F).

The French health minister said that 1,500 more deaths than average had been recorded during the period of extreme heat.

Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic hit a 21C on July 14; temperatures at this time of year are usually just a few degrees above freezing.

Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic saw record breaking temperatures. Credit: AP
  • August

The aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Credit: AP

The strongest ever hurricane struck the Bahamas in August pummeling the islands with winds of up to 185mph.

Hurricane Dorian topped a particularly intense hurricane season in the region and caused catastrophic damage to the region, destroying thousands of homes and killing at least 73 people.

  • October

Surging waves hit as Typhoon Hagibis approaches at a beach in Kumano, Mie prefecture. Credit: AP

The Rugby World Cup was temporarily halted as Typhoon Hagibis lashed Japan in October, killing at least 95 people and leaving more than £11.5 billion of devastation in its path.

It was recorded as the most powerful typhoon in six decades to batter the country.

A firefighter crosses Highway 154 while battling the Cave Fire in Los Padres National Forest. Credit: AP

Wildfires in October ravaged parts of California.

Spurred by historic winds, Hollywood stars were among the thousands forced to flee the blaze that at one point threatened the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Tourists take photos during Storm Lorenzo along the sea front in Lahinch, County Clare Credit: PA

Ireland and parts of the UK were battered by the remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo - the largest recorded storm to make it so far east across the north Atlantic.

Ireland bore the brunt of what was now Storm Lorenzo, with thousands of homes and businesses left without power as winds of 65km blew in from the west.

  • November

St Mark's Square in Venice flooded in November. Credit: AP

Venice saw its worst flooding during the annual "acqua alta" (high water) in 53 years.

This is the second most devastating "acqua alta" in Venice history since 1966.

Flooding in Doncaster. Credit: PA

South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire saw record breaking rainfall in autumn that caused widespread flooding across the region.

The deluge was a "once-in-60-years" weather event experts said, with locals describing it as "biblical".

Drought across southern Africa has had a devastating effect on wildlife. Credit: AP

A severe drought across southern Africa, the worst in 40 years, left thousands of people on the brink of starvation and turned Zimbabwe's national parks into 'graveyards' as elephant carcasses littered the arid land.

  • December

A firefighter battles a blaze as wildfires take a hold in a tinder dry bush. Credit: AP

Parts of Australia have been ravaged by drought as records show a marked decrease in rainfall since 1994 in many regions.

Australia's hottest ever day was recorded on December 19, with a national average of 41.9C, beating the record set the day before.

The intense heat and lack of rain have left the outback tinder dry, a significant contributing factor to the numerous wildfires that forced New South Wales to declare a state of emergency.