Sydney has recorded its lowest summer rainfall to date in more than 70 years, as the state swelters through its driest January in more than a decade.
Three big heatwaves have hit the state this year, the latest one still searing its way across southern parts of the state on Monday. Hay Airport clocked up 45.5 degrees, Deniliquin a fourth day of at least 43, while Canberra set a record for the most days of 37 or warmer with its sixth such day.
Sydney, while shielded from the worst of the blasts of summer by sea breezes, is also drying out.
Last month alone, Sydney collected just 17.4 millimetres of rain, or less than a fifth of the long-term average, making it the driest January since 2003. Temperatures were about 1 degree above average for the city.
For NSW, maximum temperatures last month were 2.7 degrees above average, the 10th highest, adding to farmers' woes.
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