Winter temperature and rainfall records have been smashed across the Hunter as the prolonged drought tightens its grip heading into summer.
Bureau of Meteorology data shows the Upper Hunter town of Murrurundi received 34.8 millimetres of rain between June and August, breaking the 1888 record of 35.6 millimetres. The average winter rainfall for the town is 191.9 millimetres.
The town, which has been relying on water that is trucked in for more than 12 months, recorded a maximum temperature of 17.9 degrees.
The figure compares to the winter average of 16 degrees.
"The last two days have been incredible; I jumped in the pool today," Royal Hotel publican Jules Cross said.
"The weather is a topic of conversation, everyone is getting around in short sleeves and t-shirts. People still have wood piles for winter but they aren't going to be used this year."
"Everyone is used to not having any water now; it's just the way it is."
The Bureau of Meteorology's winter summary showed Australia recorded its sixth-warmest winter for maximum temperatures, while rainfall averages were the least - at 36.4 millimetres - since 2002.
Elsewhere in the Upper Hunter, Scone received 26.8 millimetres, breaking the previous record of 33.2 millimetres set in 1994.
Merriwa, which has a winter average of 107.6 millimetres recorded 23.8 millimetres.
Rainfall in the Lower Hunter, which is about to have water restrictions imposed for the first time in 25 years, was also scarce.
Dungog received 78.4 millimetres, breaking the previous record of 83.8 millimetres set in 1962.
Tocal, which has a winter average of 155.3 millimetres, received 152.4 millimetres.
Cessnock, which has a winter average of 118.2 millimetres, received 77 millimetres.
Bucking the trend, Newcastle, which has an average of 282.9 millimetres, received 284.8 millimetres.
Maximum temperature records have already been smashed across Australia during the first nine months of 2019.
In the Hunter, Quirindi recorded a new average winter maximum temperature of 18.9 degrees, breaking the previous record of 18.7 set in 1910.
Cessnock recorded 19.7 degrees, breaking the previous record of 19.2 degrees set in 2013. Scone recorded 19.2 degrees breaking the previous record of 18.7 degrees set in 2018.
The bureau's three monthly outlook for most of Australia points to warmer and drier conditions than average.
Climatologist Agata Imielska said the Great Diving Range was the most significant feature that affected climate in the Hunter.
"Much of the Hunter region is nestled between the range and the more coastal zones. This means at times it can be drier and hotter than more coastal locations, but at the same time it does, on average, receive more rainfall than areas further west of the Great Dividing Range."