The Bureau of Meteorology has released a special climate statement almost too hot to handle (metaphorically) in response to bushfires in NSW and QLD.
The drought in parts of northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland since January is officially the worst on record since 1900, while other areas have had total rainfall figures that are half the average.
The problem is even worse on and west of the Border Ranges, where rainfall since January 2017 – all 32 months combined – is the lowest on record.
In case you didn’t already know, warmer than average daytime temperatures, very low humidity, and gusty winds have led to dangerous fire weather conditions in much of the region since 6 September.
Below average rainfall in that same time has increased fire risk and the bureau says the prolonged drought means dry soil and vegetation have become excellent bushfire fuel.
The full report is available online.