Australia records hottest day in country's history
The heatwave is expected to intensify in the coming days.
Australia has recorded the hottest day in its history with the current heatwave expected to increase.
According to the country's Bureau of Meteorology, Tuesday 17 December was officially Australia's hottest on record with average maximum temperatures of 40.9 degrees Celsius.
That figure exceeded the previous high of 40.3 degrees, which was recorded in January of 2013.
"The heat has been building with temperatures of over 45 degrees through much of the interior of Australia yesterday," noted a broadcast from the Bureau of Meteorology on Wednesday.
"This hot air mass is so extensive [that] the preliminary figures show that yesterday was the hottest day on record in Australia, beating out the previous record from 2013.
"This heat will only intensify further today. Southern and central Australia will swelter with temperatures of 8 to 16 degrees above average."
The spread of bushfires has been commonplace in Australia in recent months, with major damage and air pollution recorded as a result.
Fire weather warnings are in place for the western and southern parts of the country with smoke expected to become a "significant" issue for people in New South Wales and the Australian capital territory.
Severe and extreme heatwave conditions are also anticipated throughout Wednesday.
The Bureau of Meteorology also warned of a peak in fire-related dangers as the weekend comes into focus.
Preliminary results suggest that the 17th December was Australia's hottest day on record at 40.9 ºC, with the average maximum across the country as a whole, exceeding the previous record of 40.3 ºC on the 7th January 2013. https://t.co/TKwWBuFPgJ pic.twitter.com/xOFpokoXos
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) December 18, 2019