47.6 degrees - a scorching record

47.6 DEGREES - a scorcher in anyone's language.

SCORCHER. A record maximum temperature at Kerang.

SCORCHER. A record maximum temperature at Kerang.

The record maximum temperature at Kerang on Friday, January 25 topped off a record January heatwave for the district.

Kerang was officially the hottest place in Victoria and the sixth hottest in the nation, according to Bureau of Meteorology data. Menindee, in far-western New South Wales, recorded Australia's hottest maximum of 48.8 degrees that day.

A hot north-westerly wind and raised dust exacerbated the impact of the baking heat.

It was the third time in January that the half-century old month's record maximum of 45.6 degrees has been exceeded and also topped Kerang's hottest ever recorded maximum of 46.9 degrees, recorded on February 7, 2009.

Bureau of Meteorology statistics show that the local weather station records an average of just over two days over 40 degrees in January. There have been 10 days of 40 degrees or more this month, starting with a January record of 45.9 degrees on the 4th, followed later by four days in a row, including a new record of 46.0 degrees on the 16th.

The bureau has been recording temperature data at Kerang since 1962. Rainfall has been recorded since 1881.

The long-term average January temperature here is 31.6 degrees. The average for the month was 37.9 degrees leading into the last week of the month.

High overnight minimum temperatures have failed to reach the record 30.9 degrees that was achieved on Australia Day in 2003.

The hottest overnight temperature of 26.6 degrees, recorded on January 17, has been one of eight nights over 20 degrees.

With just three days of January remaining, maximums will rise to the high 30s before a cool change, then a return to the 40s at the weekend.

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