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Australia suffers hottest summer on record

Staff Writer |
Persistent heat waves made Australia's past summer the hottest on record which was plagued by extreme floods, bushfires and ongoing drought, the country's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said.

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Average maximum and minimum temperatures for Australia as a whole were 2.14 degrees Celsius above the 1961-90 average, smashing the previous record from 2012-13 which was 1.28 degrees Celsius hotter than average.

"The heat we saw this summer was unprecedented. While the final numbers are yet to be analyzed, we know it will be the warmest on record for Australia as a whole, and many individual locations will have broken summer heat records as well," BoM climatologist Lynette Bettio said.

Causing the unseasonable weather, Bettio said, was a noticeable absence of strong cold fronts that would normally bring relief during summer.

"A lot of this was caused by persistent high pressure systems sitting over the Tasman Sea that was blocking those fronts from impacting the south of the country, especially during January."

"It won't come as a surprise to many that this summer will be our warmest on record, but apart from parts of northern Queensland, many locations fell short of their summer rainfall averages too," BoM manager of long-range forecasting Andrew Watkins.

Meanwhile the country's autumn weather outlook brings little relief for the country's drought affecting east with hot and dry conditions expected to continue.

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