THE year 2013 was the fourth hottest for Orange but it also contained the wettest day in 37 years.
But the worst of the heat is over according to Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke.
The next few months should be milder but with higher humidity, he said.
“The most extreme of the weather is over where it was about two or three degrees above average and as it gets on there will be a higher chance of rainfall,” Mr Dutschke said.
The highest temperature for 2013 was 38.1 degrees on January 12 - a record for the month and 0.2 degrees cooler than the hottest day in Orange’s recorded history.
The hottest year in Orange since 1976 was 2009 followed by 1980 and 2006. Mr Dutschke said it was a close call for fourth between 2013 and 2007.
The coldest night in Orange for 2013 was July 27 with a chilling 2.6 degrees below freezing.
Orange had 777 millilitres of rainfall in 2013 - 17 per cent below the average of about 932 millilitres - but it was not as dry as 2012 where Orange had 691.5 millilitres.
“There should be a bit more in the next two months,” Mr Dutschke said.
The rain is predicted to start falling tomorrow and continue to Friday so New Year’s Day barbecues should be safe but there is a 40 per cent chance of rainfall and it will be warm today with a predicted top of 30 degrees
Orange’s wettest month was June with 137.6 millilitres of rain. The wettest day was March 1 with 109.6 millilitres of rain - the wettest day in recorded history according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Orange Agricultural Institute reading. It rained 129 days in 2013.
The hottest day in recorded history for Orange was 38.3 degrees on February 15, 2004. The coldest day was July 13, 2000 where the temperature was 5.6 degrees below zero.