Updated Dec 19, 2019

Australia heat wave: Hottest temperature record broken again

People queue for ice cream at Sydney's Bondi Beach on Thursday: Photo Saverio Marfia/Getty Images

Australia smashed its hottest day record just one day after it was set, preliminary findings from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) released Thursday show.

The big picture: The country has also experienced its worst ever spring for wildfire danger, the BOM said in a climate statement Wednesday.

  • The driest spring on record has left more than 95% of Australia experiencing dangerous fire weather that has been above average, and much of the country is in severe drought.
  • The historic heat wave comes as firefighters continue to fight wildfires across the country. The Australian state of New South Wales declared a seven-day state of emergency Thursday.

What they're saying: Blair Trewin, a senior climatologist with the BOM, said in a video posted to the agency's website that many areas would shatter hottest December records and perhaps even the hottest temperature for any time of the year, with Saturday forecast to be a particularly searing day.

Read the climate report:

Go deeper: In photos: Wildfires rage across Australia amid historic heat wave

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include the new temperature record details.

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Alaska experienced its hottest year on record in 2019

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Alaska endured its hottest year in recorded history in 2019, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

By the numbers: The state's average temperature sat at 32.2°F, which was 6.2°F hotter than the long-term average. Last year's temperatures topped 2016's previous record, which saw the statewide average at 31.9°F. For the first time on record, Anchorage recorded a 90°F day in July.

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Australia deploys military as thousands stranded by wildfires

An Australian firefighter hosing down trees and flying embers in an effort to secure nearby houses from bushfires near the town of Nowra in New South Wales. Photo: Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

Australia's wildfires have claimed another five lives, several people are missing and thousands of people have continued to shelter from fires on beaches at popular tourist spots in two states, authorities say.

The latest: The Australian Defense Force has deployed extra personnel to the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to assist in firefighting efforts, the government confirmed in a statement. The government said it's also sending aid fire-ravaged regions via military ships and aircraft.

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