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Australia endures driest spring on record

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Australia has endured its driest spring on record, setting the scene for a devastating bushfire season in which fierce blazes have swept across the country.

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As the nation prepares for a sweltering heatwave and temperatures above 40C, the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed today spring was also the second-warmest ever recorded.

Rainfall was 62 per cent below average, making the spring of 2019 the driest since the previous all-time low in 1967, the BOM said in a special climate statement.

“The low rainfall added to pre-existing rainfall deficiencies and low soil moisture, exacerbating the meteorological and hydrological drought conditions and meaning forest fuels remained dry,” the BOM said.

The average maximum daytime temperature was 2.41C above average, the second-warmest on record behind 2014.

The country also struggled through record high fire weather danger – as measured using the Forest Fire Danger Index – in each of the country’s states and territories during spring.

“The dangerous fire weather conditions during spring 2019 is consistent with the increasingly severe fire weather seen in many areas of the country, owing to increasing temperatures and reduced cool season rainfall,” the BOM said.

Adelaide is set for temperatures above 40C until the weekend.

– with AAP

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