A surfer drinks a coffee as he sits with his surfboard on
the footpath above Manly Beach on another hot Sydney day.
The eastern states of Australia may have ended January
2013 with wet, cold weather but official figures show it was
still Australia's hottest month in recorded history.
The Bureau of Meteorology on Friday said both the nation's
average mean temperature of 29.68C and the average mean
maximum temperature of 36.92C broke previous records set in
The Northern Territory and Queensland sweltered with mean
temperatures of 31.93C and 30.75C respectively - the hottest
on record for January in both the territory and state.
"The heatwave in the first half of January was exceptional in
its extent and duration," the Bureau said in a statement.
"The national average maximum temperature on 7 January was
the highest on record."
Residents in Alice Springs spent 17 days in a row over 40C,
but locals in the Queensland town of Birdsville suffered the
longest, recording 31 consecutive days over 40C.
The highest temperature recorded during the heatwave was at
Moomba, in South Australia, where the mercury hit 49.6
degrees on January 12.