ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Adelaide has sweltered through the highest temperature ever recorded by a major Australian city, peaking at a searing 46.6 degrees Celsius (115.9 degrees Fahrenheit) as the drought-parched nation heads toward potentially the hottest January on record.
The South Australia state capital city of 1.3 million people on Thursday beat its previous 80-year-old record of 46.1 C (115 F) set on Jan. 12, 1939, and records tumbled in smaller towns across the state.
Adelaide beat the heat record set by Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, of 46.4 C (115.5 F) set in 2009.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rob Sharpe said he would not be surprised if January becomes Australia's hottest on record with heatwave conditions likely to persist.
Last year was Australia's third-warmest on record.