Australia has just had its hottest October on record, and with the bushfire season fast approaching, it comes as a relief that many central and eastern parts of the country have had a good dousing of rain.

November may be barely four days old, but some parts have already exceeded their monthly average rainfall.

The rain was most widespread across New South Wales, where 20 percent of the state had more than half a month's worth of rain in just 24 hours.

Hillston, New South Wales, had 45mm of rainfall. The average is nearer to 30mm. Further east, Mount Seaview notched up 64mm of rain.

Meanwhile, Whyalla and Port Pirie in South Australia recorded 87mm and 57mm respectively.

Severe weather warnings were in force for a time, and the town of Kapunda, to the northeast of Adelaide, was particularly badly hit.

There was some structural damage, with several shops flooded, and at least one building suffered a collapsed roof. Away from here, the rain was welcomed by most.

Fire fears

The combination of summer-like temperatures and dry conditions already have fire authorities expecting a busier-than-usual bushfire season.

October was a very dry month, with the country seeing only 53 percent of the average monthly rainfall. That followed on from the third driest September on record.

Added to that, there is the heat.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), last month was Australia's most abnormally warm month since records began in 1910. Average maximum temperatures were 3.4 degrees above the monthly norm.

Karl Braganza, BoM's head of climate monitoring, went on to say: "It's an October that was hotter than most Novembers."

The next few days will remain unsettled with the heaviest downpours slowly easing towards the east coast. Hail and thunder are still likely at times.

Another spell of stormy weather is then expected to cross much of the country from the west by the start of next week.

Source: Al Jazeera