The new normal (part 29): heat wave covering most of Australia

I’ll be doing my best to stay cool, Friday is expected to be a scorcher. It is worth noting just how abnormal this is:

”We have a major heat event under way,” Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology, said. ”There are not many instances in the historical record where you get a heat event covering such a large area of the continent.” 

Brett Dutschke, senior meteorologist at Weatherzone, said it was unusual to have so prolonged a hot spell. ”It’s a once-in-20 or 30-year heatwave event in desert areas,” he said. ”More populated areas further south … are going to experience some of this as well.” 

The mercury is forecast to hit 36 degrees in Melbourne on Thursday and 41 degrees of Friday, with temperatures also soaring in Canberra although Sydney will largely be spared. Adelaide will swelter in 39-degree heat today and 42 tomorrow, the bureau predicts, while even Hobart will experience 32-degree and 38-degree maximums over the two days.

I’d recommend the BOM website for updates.

Expect to see temperature records tumble this summer.

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9 thoughts on “The new normal (part 29): heat wave covering most of Australia

  1. Sou says:

    Does anyone else remember the days when a temperature of 100 degrees F (37C) made big headlines in extra large type in The Sun in Melbourne? I’m getting old :(

    Now we can get temperatures higher than that even in October.

    Anyone who’s younger than about 30 has never experienced a ‘normal’ year in regard to weather! (Normal as indicated by the average global surface temperature for the twentieth century, which of course is itself higher than it should have been, because of global warming.)

    • john byatt says:

      As a child I remember 100F as headlines , had a paper run, but really only remember that 100f was regarded as outstanding, now we see 38C and even 40C

  2. Steve says:

    The new normal:
    22 years ago when we started our shop in the Adelaide Hills, on hot days we would normally put the air conditioner on when the temperature in the shop got to 29 degrees C.
    Now we normally put it on when the temperature in the shop reaches 32 degrees C.
    The main criterion in choosing to when to turn it on is the reaction of our customers. Today, people were still saying how nice and cool it was in the shop when the temperature in the shop was 32 degrees C (Outside it was probably about 37).
    People are getting used to hotter weather than before, so the weather today was “normal” to them.

  3. Richard Ryan says:

    Wow, a heatwave in Australia in summer time … who would have thought? It MUST be real!!!

    • EoR says:

      Not only is it real, but it’s record breaking. We here in the West have already had the heatwave that is passing eastwards now. The last 7 days of 2012 here was the hottest week in 80 years. Also, “The last week of 2012 was also Perth’s hottest December week in 116 years of records” and New Year’s Eve was 13 degrees above average (per WA Today).

    • john byatt says:

      Here richard, tell that to this denier from justgrounds

      Reply by Cate Stuart 7 hours ago
      Bugger me – its 9.51 pm and 31″ on the back veranda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will someone please pay their damn carbon tax!!!!!!!!! 6.00am this morning 27′…and the heat wave is supposed to return over the next ten days – well..excuse me…but what have the last 3 1/2 damn weeks been out of the last 4 1/2?…end rant – heading for cold shower, cold water, and brand new air conditioner – finally have given in and bought it!

  4. Sou says:

    I’m enjoying the warmth today (in Melbourne). It’s starting to feel like summer again. Tomorrow will be a scorcher though.

    What I didn’t realise was the extent of the hot weather, which is what Karl Braganza is talking about.

    Here’s an interactive temperature chart from BoM. Click the arrow or mid-afternoon times to see the size of area getting super hot weather (45C +) over the next few days! Looks like some inland areas might hit 50C.

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