AFP has a report on Australia's record warm winter - Australia sweats through long, hot winter.
Drought-hit Australia has endured an exceptionally hot winter, with abnormal temperatures shattering records that had in some places stood since World War II, official figures show.
In a special climate statement released late Wednesday, the weather bureau said maximum temperatures in August were broadly three degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the long-term average.
"August 2009 is almost certain to be Australia's warmest August on record," the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.
Taken with above-average temperatures in June and July, the bureau said the exceptional August figures would be "sufficient to lift average winter temperatures to record or near-record levels".
The heatwave smashed records across the country, most notably in the subtropical northeast region and drought-struck areas in the country's centre.
Some coastal towns recorded their hottest day for 2009 during August, surpassing temperatures reached at the height of Australia's scorching summer months.
Records dating back to World War II toppled in the New South Wales Outback towns of Bourke and Walgett, where new August highs of 34.4 degrees Celsius exceeded benchmarks set in 1946, the bureau said. The mercury soared as high as 37 degrees at Boulia, in the Queensland Outback.
A record dry spell was also likely to be recorded there, with an average of just 1.65 millimetres (0.07 inches) of rain between July and August, the bureau warned.
According to government analysis Australia faces its driest, hottest summer in a decade this year, with an El Nino weather pattern expected to bring less rain and higher temperatures.
More at the SMH - Abnormal weather a hot August blight.
IF YOU thought it has been unseasonably warm lately, you are correct - the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that this is almost certainly going to be the hottest August on record by a big margin.
Temperature records across NSW and Queensland were smashed by three degrees or more this week. The winter heatwave is ''highly abnormal'', according to a special climate statement released by the bureau yesterday.