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January 2013: hottest month on record


Hottest month on record, just in case you were wondering…

January 2013 is officially the hottest month on record:

Australia recorded its hottest month on record in January 2013, with both the average mean temperature of 29.68°C and the average mean maximum temperature of 36.92°, surpassing previous records set in January 1932.

The Northern Territory recorded 31.93°C and Queensland 30.75°C, also the hottest mean temperature on record for January for both states. The heatwave in the first half of January was exceptional in its extent and duration. The national average maximum temperature on 7 January was the highest on record. Numerous stations set records for the most days in succession above 40°C, including Alice Springs (17 days) and Birdsville (31 days).

A large number of stations set all-time record high temperatures during the January heatwave, including Sydney (45.8°C on 18 January) and Hobart (41.8°C on 4 January). The highest temperature recorded during the heatwave was at Moomba in South Australia (49.6°C on 12 January). Late January saw extreme rainfall and flooding for coastal areas of Queensland and New South Wales as a low pressure system associated with ex-tropical cyclone Oswald tracked steadily south between 22 and 29 January, before moving out to sea south of Sydney.

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