09 January 2013

Extreme heat in Australia

The temperature forecast for next Monday by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology is so unprecedented - over 52C - that it has had to add a new colour to the top of its scale, a suitably incandescent purple.

Australia's highest recorded temperature is 50.7C, set in January 1960 in South Australia. The record for the hottest average day across the nation was set on Monday, at 40.3C, exceeding a 40-year-old record. "What makes this event quite exceptional is how widespread and intense it's been," said Aaron Coutts-Smith, the weather bureau's climate services manager. "We have been breaking records across all states and territories in Australia over the course of the event so far." Wildfires are raging across New South Wales and Tasmania.


  1. Amazing. An average daily temperature for the country over 100F.

    Did you notice the water temperatures? In the northern parts its over 32C in some areas, which is about 90F. That's bath water, nearly a hot tub.

    1. Unfortunately everywhere where the ocean is that warm you can't swim in it. Not only are there sharks and crocs all along the coast, but the big problem is Marine stingers.

  2. There's a striking set of pictures of 'family fleeing Australia's wildfires shelter in the water' at the Guardian.

    Also, for anyone who's actually in Australia, here is a more version of the map of bushfires that is easier to understand than the NSW rural fireservice.

  3. I live in Sydney, the hottest day we've had was Tuesday. I think it snuck over 42°C. Luckily the following day was only 25°C. I'm rather enjoying it!

  4. for those of us who are metrically challenged: 52 C = 125.6 F
    mz in wv

  5. ... "only"...?

    "A cooler change will then move through, making Monday and Tuesday noticeably cooler, about 10 degrees cooler. On Monday Bourke should only reach 35 degrees, Moomba 37. On Tuesday Birdsville should only get to 41."

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/australias-highest-temperature-in-15-years-20130113-2cn7p.html#ixzz2Ho15rJqP


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