Climate scientists have been left "flabbergasted" as temperatures in parts of South America near 40 degrees Celsius in the middle of what is supposed to be its winter.
Data from Chile's national meteorological agency, Dirección Meteorológica de Chile, shows several weather stations in the country reached temperatures above 35C on August 1.
Data shows southern parts of South America were 10C to 20C hotter than normal for this time of year.
"For its duration, area, and intensity, it's probably the worst winter heatwave in the Southern Hemisphere," he said.
He said temperatures in South America earlier this week had even rivalled the prolonged heat experienced in Europe during July, despite being the middle of winter.
"South America is living one of the most extreme events the world has ever seen, unbelievable temperatures up to 38.9C in the Chilean Andine areas in mid-winter," Mr Herrera wrote on social media.
She said if those temperatures were to occur in New South Wales, which sits at a similar latitude, it would be "extraordinary". »