Records smashed during warmest, driest January on record
LISMORE sweated through January where almost every day temperatures soared above 30C.
And the rest of the country copped it too - in a first for any month, the average monthly temperature exceeded 30 degrees.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology it was the warmest month on record for New South Wales as a whole and mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures exceeded previous respective records by a significant margin.
DAYS OVER 30°C:
Lismore had 29 days over 30°C. The hottest day was on the 19th at 39.6°C (30 days recorded).
Ballina had 18 days over 30°C. The hottest day was 19th at 33.7°C (30 days recorded).
Byron Bay has 17 days over 30°C. The hottest day was 20th at 33.4°C (30 days recorded).
Casino had 28 days over 30°C. The hottest day was 19th at 41.5°C. Of this 16 days were over 35°C and two days over 40°C (30 days recorded).
Tenterfield had 15 days over 30°C (27 days of data recorded).
NSW's mean maximum temperature was 6.1°C above average (previous record was +4.11°C in 1939).
Bureau senior climatologist Dr Andrew Watkins said the heat through January was unprecedented.
"We saw heatwave conditions affect large parts of the country through most of the month, with records broken for both duration and also individual daily extremes," Dr Watkins said.
"The main contributor to this heat was a persistent high pressure system in the Tasman sea which was blocking any cold fronts and cooler air from impacting the south of the country.
"At the same time, we had a delayed onset to the monsoon in the north of the country which meant we weren't seeing cooler, moist air being injected from the north.
"The warming trend which has seen Australian temperatures increase by more than 1 degree in the last 100 years also contributed to the unusually warm conditions."
Record lowest January total rainfall - Clunes, Tabulam, Ballina Airport AWS, Casino Airport AWS and Evans Head RAAF Bombing Range AWS.
Record highest January mean daily maximum temperature - Casino Airport and Evans Head.
Highest January mean daily maximum temperature for at least 20 years - Tenterfield.