Heatwave subsides in Australia

Cooling off at the Australian Open in Melbourne, 14 Jan 2014 (Getty Images)

Cooling off at the Australian Open in Melbourne, 14 Jan 2014 (Getty Images)

An extremely hot air mass which enveloped much of southern Australia this week has finally subsided after temperatures climbed into the mid-40s Celsius.

Heat records were shattered and both players and spectators of the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne tried to cool off when the thermometer climbed above 40 C.

The normal January high in Melbourne – at the height of summer Down Under – is in the high 20s C.

The heatwave led to power blackouts to conserve energy and more than 100 bushfires in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

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