IF YOU thought it has been unseasonably warm lately, you are correct - the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that this is almost certainly going to be the hottest August on record by a big margin.
Temperature records across NSW and Queensland were smashed by three degrees or more this week.
The winter heatwave is ''highly abnormal'', according to a special climate statement released by the bureau yesterday.
Hot, stagnant air in central Australia, which accumulated over the past few weeks because no southerly winds emerged to blow it away, is the cause of the record highs on the coast.
''We would normally see these surges of cooler air coming through to disperse it, but that has not been happening this year,'' said Dr Blair Trewin of the National Climate Centre. ''Then … a westerly was dragging the hot air to the coast.''
A new NSW August record of 36.3 degrees, set at Mungindi, near Moree, on Monday, was broken in the same town the next day, when the thermometer tipped 37.8 degrees.