This summer has been called everything from “extreme” to “angry” and for large swathes of the country those adjectives still apply.
Cities such as Melbourne and Adelaide are midway through long heatwaves with no relief expected until Thursday.
The big dry now extends across much of southern Australia and even the Top End is looking at its driest “wet” season in two decades.
Along the east coast, communities from the Illawarra in NSW to Bundaberg in Queensland continue to clean up after several bouts of heavy rain and even tornadoes.
In other words, the Climate Commission, which this week released its “The Angry Summer” report, will probably need to update its tally of 123 heat and rainfall records because summer hasn't thrown in the towel.
Tropical cyclone Sandra, meanwhile, is a category three storm arcing away from the Queensland coast. It's expected to turn south by the middle of next week and may bring more rain if it closes in on the saturated east.
“How close it gets to the Australian coast is anyone's guess at this point,” said Karl Braganza, head of climate monitoring at the weather bureau.
What Sandra won't do is bring much moisture over the country's parched south. “Certainly, there's no significant rainfall in the forecast period over most of Australia,” Dr Braganza said.
A slow-moving high-pressure system means conditions are expected to be stable over much of south-eastern Australia. That suggests little deviation for Sydneysiders between minimums of 20 and maximums of 27 for the next week, with a few showers added to the mix.
For Melbourne conditions are similarly stable – but far less comfortable. Friday, earlier seen as the one day that may break the sequence of 30 degree or higher days, reached that mark early this afternoon as clouds cleared.
The next five days are expected to exceed 32 degrees – rising to 37 by Wednesday – with overnight temperatures likely to touch only 21 degrees on the coolest nights. Sultry conditions are adding to the discomfort.
If the mercury reaches 30-plus degrees as expected, the 10-day stretch will smash the previous longest run of such heat by two days. The last time, the city had eight consecutive days like this was February 1961.
The weather bureau, in fact, had more than an inkling that this summer would be hot. In early December, it issued a special climate statement noting how much of eastern Australia had record heat in November.
“We were seeing columns of warm air moving across Australia,” Dr Braganza said. “Internally, we were thinking 'we could be in for a very warm summer'.”
Climate scientists say the number and intensity of heatwaves are increasing for Australia, as the background atmosphere warms.
One thing that no longer seems to apply is an imported European convention, that summer begins on December 1 and finishes when February ends.