SYDNEY (AP) — Australia had tuesday the hottest recorded day, and temperatures were expected to rise further during a heat wave affecting most of the country. The average temperature across the country was 40.9 degrees Celsius (105 Fahrenheit), breaking a record 40.3 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) set on 7 January 2013, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
“This mass of hot air is very extensive, preliminary figures show that yesterday was the warmest day recorded in Australia, breaking the previous record of 2013, and this heat is only going to intensify,” said Friday in a video statement the meteorologist of the State service Diana Eadie.Temperatures in southern and central Australia could be on Thursday between 8 and 16 degrees above normal, the weather agency said. Thermometers rose Wednesday to 47.4 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) in Birdsville, Queensland, 46.9 Celsius (116 Fahrenheit) in Mandora in western Australia, and at similar levels in the south and center of the country. The highest temperature reliably documented anywhere in Australia was a 50.7 degree Celsius (123 Fahrenheit) measurement in January 1960 in Oodnadatta, an inland desert settlement in Southern Australia.In addition, heat and strong winds they fueled wildfires across the country, including more than 100 fires in the state of New South Wales, where heat and smoke have led to an increase in hospital admissions. Temperatures were expected to drop from Friday.