A massive heat wave burning much of Australia has sent temperatures and fire danger soaring.
In Western Australia, readings Thursday topped nearly as high as the vast state's all-time maximum temperature of 49.8 degrees C, or 121.6 degrees F.
The hottest spot, from data available to AccuWeather.com, was Red Rocks Point, which soared to 48.6 degrees C, or 119.5 degrees F. Red Rocks is located in the southeast of the state, right along the chilly waters of the Great Australian Bight.
Next in line was Eucla, which also lies near the Bight, barely inside the border with South Australia. Eucla reached 48.2 degrees C, or nearly 119 F.
Deep within the Nullarbor Plain, Forrest registered a sizzling 47.9 degrees C, or 118.2 degrees F.
Interestingly, Forrest shares the Western Australia all-time highest temperature of 49.8 degrees C -- 121.6 F -- which was reached on Jan. 13, 1979, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) website. Also in 1979, but on Jan. 3, Mundrabilla Station topped at 49.8 degrees C.
In neighboring South Australia, Nullarbor registered 46.8 degrees C, or 116.2 F, on Thursday.
Estimated high temperatures (degrees C) for Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website. High temperatures of at least 45 degrees C (113 F) were reached in a big swath of southeastern Western Australia and western South Australia. A smaller area farther east, much of in the Simpson Desert, reached 45 C.
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