After a red hot few months Central Australia is still exceeding 30 degrees each day, enabling it to become the hottest start to the year on record.
Every recording station in the Alice Springs area has been reaching at least 30 degrees every day for the past week and should do so for a few more. This is about seven degrees above average for this time of year.
Some locations will get close to breaking May records for consecutive days of 30 degrees or warmer. Alice Springs' May record for 30-degree heat is nine consecutive days, set in 1999.
The central Australian town has just overtaken 2005 as the hottest start to a year in 70 years of records.
During the first four months of 2013, it averaged a maximum of 35.5 degrees, just shy of the January-to-April record of 35.6 degrees, set in 2005.
During the first four days of May it has averaged a maximum of 31.6 degrees, taking the year-to-date average to 35.4 degrees, just ahead of 2005.
Warmer-than-normal water surrounding the country has combined with sunnier-than-normal days and weaker-than-normal fronts to allow heat to linger over inland Australia.
Significant cooling is a fair way off, not until next weekend, when a cold front crosses southern Australia, cooling The Alice by as much as 10 degrees.
Come Monday, tops of about 23 degrees (average for this time of year) can be expected for a few days before it gently warms again. The change will be noticeable enough to prompt the addition of an extra layer-or-two of clothing.
If residents can remember 2005, a similarly cool spell of weather arrived at about the same time of year.
© Weatherzone 2013
16:51 EDT A lot has been said about struggling southern Mallee grain crops.