Prolonged heatwaves predicted

Australia could be in for a long, hot summer, with a climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology predicting prolonged heatwaves this year.

Dr David Jones told News Ltd "the odds are stacking in favour of an above average summer in Australia".

"We know these heatwaves are increasing, with more hyper days, and one of the features is we are going to get more record high temperature days," he said.

"We are still fairly early in summer. Australia has been hot for about 4½ months and we are still not in the hottest period of summer."

AAP reports the record national average temperature is 40.17C, which was reached on 21 December, 1972.

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