The big dry of 2019: Get ready the heat will rise
COFFS Harbour is on track to record its driest start to a year in 25 years, as Australia stands in the shadows of the hottest January on record.
Weather forecasters say it is looking increasingly likely this month could be the hottest January ever recorded in Australia with an "intense hot spell" just around the corner.
If that record does fall then it's possible the benchmark for the hottest Australian summer since records began could also be set.
That has been coupled with well below average rainfall across NSW.
Gabrielle Woodhouse from the Bureau of Meteorology said the last recorded fall at the Coffs Harbour airport was on December 22.
Despite that storm the region has recorded between 1-5mm of rain collectively throughout January while most of NSW has received little to no rain whatsoever.
Ms Woodhouse said without doubt it's been an uncharacteristically dry January to date.
With just over a week to run on the month Coffs Harbour could record its driest start to a year in 25 years.
"Mean rainfall for January is 187.5mm, with the lowest 10 per cent of recordings 39.6mm or less," she said.
"The lowest recorded rainfall in January for Coffs Harbour was 11.8mm in 1994."
Storms are set to roll over the coast this afternoon, but the bureau is forecasting just 1-5mm.
Before February rolls in get ready for a hot spell.
Following last week's blistering heatwave across Australia's south-east, where multiple records for maximum and high minimum temperatures were broken, much of the eastern seaboard has been enjoying a breather with much-needed cooler conditions.
But don't get too used to it. Scorching temperatures in Perth last weekend were a precursor of things to come.
As the week progresses that air will travel over Central Australia, keeping itself nice and hot, and then deposit itself in the east - before Australia Day.
As well as heat, gusty winds and storms could be a feature while a tropical cyclone is brewing in the north.