Regions of Australia are again facing extreme heat just days after the season's first major heatwave blitzed dozens of site records.
Parts of north-west Western Australia will bake for much of the next week, with temperatures potentially nudging 50 degrees in the shade by Wednesday or Thursday in the Exmouth region, according to Bureau of Meteorology data.
A slow-moving ''blocking'' high-pressure system in the Bight, though, means Sydney can expect a mild week until the heat reaches the city by about January 16, Max Gonzalez, a senior meteorologist with Weatherzone, said.
A mass of exceptionally hot air has virtually gone 360 degrees around Australia after first forming late last month over the Nullarbor, Mr Gonzalez said.
In a Special Climate Statement, the Bureau of Meteorology described the recent heatwave as a ''highly significant'' event that scorched much of the country excluding Tasmania and Victoria.
''A major feature of the heatwave was the very large margin by which some records were broken, particularly in northern NSW,'' the bureau said, noting exceptional heat continues in parts of the country. Darwin, for instance, broke its January record on Monday, with the top of 36 degrees easily eclipsing the 1969 record of 35.6 degrees. The city broke it again on Tuesday, just, at 36.1 degrees.
Earlier in the hot spell, Narrabri in northern NSW clocked up a maximum of 47.8 degrees last Friday, beating the previous record by 3.6 degrees - the largest margin at any Australian location with 40 or more years of data, the bureau said.
The heatwave began on December 27 in eastern WA and spread slowly north and east, setting records at 34 sites, mostly in Queensland and northern NSW.
In the past week, Queensland copped some of the most scorching heat, with the statewide mean temperature of 34.54 degrees on Friday shattering the past record by ''an extraordinary 0.75 degrees'', the bureau said.
The state's average maximum of 41.82 degrees and minimum of 27.26 degrees were also records. During the heatwave, more than 10 per cent of Queensland and almost 15 per cent of NSW had their hottest day on record.
The warm start to 2014 follows a record year nationwide for Australia, with mean temperatures about 1.2 degrees above the long-term average, beating the 2005 anomaly of 1.03 degrees.