Jim Andrews

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Hottest Day in History for Australia

January 8, 2013; 9:45 AM ET

Heat-weary Australia has registered its hottest day, meteorological readings have shown.

The nation has suffered a week of extreme heat; heat that has shattered record temperatures while also sparking hundreds of bushfires.

Monday was called the "hottest day on record" after the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) calculated a national average high temperature of 40.33 degrees C (104.6 degrees F), the Australian ABC News website said.

The single average temperature was compiled from between 700 and 800 daily readings spread across the country, the BoM's Dr. Donald Jones said.

The former record high, set in 1972, was part of a comprehensive Australian weather record that dates back to the start of 1911.

Dr. Jones hinted that Tuesday's national average temperature would beat Monday's "by another 0.1 or 0.2 of a degree."

Another hot weather benchmark, according to Dr. Jones, would be the run of hot days, or days of at least 39 degrees C.

Whereas the standing record for such days was four, Monday marked the sixth day in the ongoing run, with at least another one to two days possible.

The stuff of records -- map of highest temperatures throughout Australia on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, as compiled by the Bureau of Meteorology. The BoM have determined that this was the nation's hottest day on average in more than 100 years of weather record. The highest rank shown is 45 degrees C/113 degrees F and above. (Image credit: Bureau of Meteorology)

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