Australia has experienced its hottest day on record with the national average temperature reaching a high of 40.9C (105.6F), meteorologists say.
The Bureau of Meteorology (Bom) said “extensive” heat on Tuesday tipped the mercury past the previous record of 40.3C set on 7 January 2013.
Taking the average of maximum temperatures across the country is the most accurate measure of a heatwave.
The record comes as the nation battles a severe drought and bushfire crisis.
Forecasters had predicted the most intense heat would come later in the week, meaning the record could be broken again.
As hundreds of fires rage, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for his response to the natural disasters and his government’s climate policies.
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