March temperatures sets record as hottest ever, Bureau of Meteorology says
You could be forgiven for not noticing the end of summer — March was a hot one.
Information released by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) indicated it was the hottest March on record, reaching 1.7 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.
This eclipsed the 1986 record of 1.67 degrees above the average, BoM said in its monthly climate report.
The unusual heat was particularly noticed in the Top End, where the failure of the monsoon allowed temperatures to creep up.
This, coupled with a high pressure system off the east coast of Australia, caused a heatwave strong enough to prompt BoM to issue a special climate statement about the phenomenon.
March 2 became Australia's hottest day on record.
Averaged across the country, it reached a top of 38 degrees Celsius.
There was no relief overnight either with minimum overnight temperatures the warmest ever, smashing the 1983 record by 0.83 degrees.
The hot March came on the back of the hottest February globally, and the hottest year for 2015.
A strong El Nino weather pattern prevailed at the start of the year, which has traditionally been associated with hotter weather.
Although the El Nino is weakening, the heat effects are expected to persist for a few more months.
Climate change is thought to be adding to the unusual heat.
The scorching start to 2016 prompted Australia's chief scientist Alan Finkel to warn that the world was "losing the battle" against climate change.
Source: ABC News