Australia has sweltered through its driest, hottest September on record, with three states’ maximum heat records being “absolutely destroyed”.
The unenviable data spells a devastating summer for the country as firies in multiple states continue to battle some of the most intense bushfires seen this year.
NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) said as of midnight on October 4, fire crews were battling 73 fires across the state.
18 of those were not contained.
Victoria’s Gippsland region was thrown into chaos with several bushfire emergency warnings enacted throughout the day on Tuesday.
The rainfall average across the entire country was a “measly” 4.8mm of rain, described as “one of the lowest monthly totals for any month” going back to 1900, according to WeatherZone meteorologist Joel Pippard.
“Victoria and the broader Murray-Darling Basin have missed the rain the most, with both regions recording their driest Septembers on record,” he said.
“Across the Murray-Darling Basin, rainfall averaged 5.6mm, just 16 per cent of what would normally fall during the month.”
Melbourne also had its driest September in 168 years, with only 10.8mm falling in the gauge.
The nation also experienced its third hottest month in history, while NSW, Victoria and WA had their heat records “absolutely destroyed”.
Maximums in Victoria were 3.77C above average, while Western Australians suffered through temperatures that were 3.54C above average.
“NSW also had their hottest September on record, an insane +5.07C hotter than average, beating the previous record of +4.73C from 2013,” Mr Pippard said.
El Nino and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole are to blame for the hot and dry weather, with the Bureau of Meteorology declaring both of these climate drivers in September.
Australia wasn’t the only country enduring scorching conditions according to Mr Pippard.
“This past month was likely the hottest September on record for the entire globe, as well as the hottest surface ocean temperatures on record for September,” he said.
“El Nino and climate change are the main culprits for this most recent trend.”
With the two weather events already in play, expect to see hotter and drier than average conditions for the rest of the year.