CENTRAL Victoria is among bushfire zones hit hardest by warming temperatures as the nation braces for what will likely be the hottest decade on record.
But the coming years might end up being some of the coolest on record when scientists look back over the century to 2130, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO have warned in their biannual state of the climate report.
The report released on Friday uses simulations using the latest climate information to show continued warming is expected across the continent over the coming decades.
Rainfalls over the course of south and eastern Australia's main crop farming period - from April to October - has now fallen 16 per cent since 1970, much of that since the 1990s.
Most of Central Victoria including Bendigo and farming region to its north have seen the lowest falls on record in the 20 years to 2020, the report shows.
It also shows an increase in the number of dangerous fire days each year across the region. That increase ranges from a minimum of 10 days in the southern part of the region near Kyneton to 25 in the north-west, near Wycheproof.
The Bendigo Sustainability Group's president Graham Allardice said that on one level he was not surprised by the report's findings since it echoed what many people and studies have been warning for years.
"But on another it should be something that drives governments at all levels and of all persuasions to take these matters seriously right now," he said.
"We are bearing the cost of climate change economically, socially and to our health."
That includes the impact of people living through more extreme heat days and the toll it can take physically, especially if they are frail or fall within high-risk health categories.
The BOM and CSIRO expect a decrease in rainfall across much of the south and east of Australia over the coming decades, and that downpours across the country will become shorter and more intense.
That will be felt particularly in the tropics where there will likely be fewer cyclones. A greater proportion of those that form will be of higher intensity, with large variations from year-to-year.
Report authors also expect more droughts across many areas in the south and east of the country.
"Projections of Australia's average temperature over the next two decades show ... every year is now warmer than the range it would have been in a world without human influence, known as climate change 'emergence'," the report states.
The year 2019 was Australia's hottest on record. Australia began tracking its weather with consistent national recordings in 1910.
"While the current decade is warmer than any other decade over the last century, it is also likely to be the coolest decade for the century ahead," the report stated.
"The average temperature of the next 20 years is virtually certain to be warmer than the average of the last 20 years."