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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.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.
3 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

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