New data released by the Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that 2019 was the hottest, and driest year in recorded Australian history.

The countries annual mean temperature was 1.52 degrees Celsius above the 1961-90 average of 21.8C — significantly above the previous hottest year (2013) at 1.33C.

2019 also saw crippling drought, with national average rainfall for the year totalling 277.63 millimetres, far below the previous record of the 1902 federation drought that saw 314.46mm.

As The Guardian report, climate scientists have identified that climate changed propelled the year into record territory. The driving force behind the heat has been attributed to burning fossil fuels, and rising levels of greenhouse gases.

“It’s very clear that greenhouse gas emissions are changing the radiation balance of the Earth. Other contributors are minor in comparison,” shared Prof Mark Howden, director of the ANU Climate Change Institute.

Bureau of Meteorology is set to comment on this new data following the release of an official report next week.

This data follows forecast predictions that dangerous bushfire conditions are set to hit South Australia on Friday, and eastern Victoria and New South Wales on Saturday — with temperatures set to reach the mid-40s.

“We are assuming that on Saturday weather conditions will be at least as bad as what they were yesterday,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. “That is something all of us have to brace ourselves for.”