IT'S official - Australians have sweated through the hottest summer on record.

And it's only going to get hotter in years to come, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.

Figures released by the BoM on Friday showed average 2012-13 summer temperatures across Australia were 1.1 degrees above the 1961-1990 average, surpassing the previous record of 0.1 degrees set in 1997-98.

Day-time temperatures were 1.4 degrees warmer than the average and 0.2 degrees above the record set in 1982-83.

In terms of averages over time, January 2013 was the hottest month recorded in the entire observational record for Australia, stretching back to 1910 - the first year scientists can confidently estimate national temperatures.

It was also revealed the six months from September to February were warmer than the high for that period set in 2006-07.

Queensland had its fourth warmest summer on record with an average temperature across the state of 1.09 degrees above the 1961-1990 average.

And this will come as a surprise to people living in Queensland's south-east - the state's average rainfall for summer was 21% below normal.

But rainfall in the area 200km from the coast and south of Mackay was above average.

Most of New South Wales was also drier than normal, other than the north-east.

Writing for The Conversation, BoM Climate Monitoring Section manager Karl Braganza and climatologist Blair Trewin said this summer "had it all".

"In general, the individual weather and climate events that scientists consider most significant are those that are both at the extremes of - or beyond - our historical experience, and consistent with quantifiable trends," they wrote.

"And the most significant thing about all of these extremes is they fit with a well established trend in Australia - it's getting hotter, and record heat is happening more often."

"Six of the hottest 10 summers on record have occurred this century, and only two occurred before 1990."

Australia has warmed by a degree since 1910, and summers like the one just gone will become the average in 40 years, the pair wrote.

An interesting feature of the most recent summer was the fact it occurred in what the authors described as a "neutral" period in the El Nino/La Nina pattern.

"Up until this year, six of the eight warmest summers, and the hottest three summers on record, occurred during El Nino years," they wrote.

"This essentially means that the record was consistent with warming trends, and achieved without an extra push from natural variability associated with El Nino."



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