Victoria has recorded its warmest January on record for mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures.
Rainfall was below average with most of the state receiving less than 20 per cent of its January average.
Melbourne was exceptionally warm with Mildura and Swan Hill recording their highest ever January temperatures. It was also one of the 10 driest Januarys on record.
The mean temperature last month averaged across the country, exceeded 30C for the first time for any month.
Senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Andrew Watkins, said January’s heat was unprecedented. “We saw heatwave conditions affect large parts of the country through most of the month, with records broken for both duration and also individual daily extremes,” he said on Thursday.
A high-pressure system in the Tasman Sea that blocked cold fronts and cooler air from reaching the country’s south, and a delayed monsoon in the north, contributed to the heatwave.
“The warming trend which has seen Australian temperatures increase by more than 1C in the last 100 years also contributed to the unusually warm conditions,” Watkins said.
New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory all had their warmest January on record.