Australia's dry DecemberRob Sharpe, Tuesday January 1, 2013 - 15:07 EDT
Most of Australia's state capitals had one of their driest December's in years, with more hot and generally dry weather on the way.
Adelaide's December was the driest month since January 2009 with only 12mm of rain. This also made it the driest December in 10 years.
Melbourne was also left with thirsty parks and gardens, gaining just 30mm which is half the December average of 59mm.
Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Darwin all had drier than average December's as well, with Brisbane recording the lowest December rain in 12 years.
The drier than usual conditions have been primarily due to a dominance of high pressure over much of the country, which has led to less cloud cover and rainfall. Similar conditions are likely to continue for much of January, with reduced cloud cover also allowing heat to build over the country.
Perth has already recorded a record heat wave, averaging a daily maximum temperature of 39 degrees over the last seven days. The city also had its driest December in three years, but more notably it was its hottest December in 13 years.
The heat that has been impacting Perth will move east through the country this week bringing temperatures in the high 30's and even the low 40's to Adelaide and possibly Melbourne.
During the next week-and-a-half, Sydney and Canberra will also experience temperatures soaring into the mid 30's and possibly 40's in western Sydney next week.
© Weatherzone 2013
More breaking news
Some inland areas of Northern Queensland have had their coldest April morning in at least 60 years.
Large areas of southern Australia can expect a foggy start to the next few mornings, reducing visibility for the first few hours, even in the southeastern capitals.
The strongest southeasterly wind surge since last Dry Season has swept out any lingering sticky humidity from the summer over a large swathe of the central and eastern tropics.