Melbournians are used to experiencing “Four seasons in one day” – when the weather swings from brilliant clear skies, to storms and back again. But yesterday was unusual in that we recorded our highest July temperature on record:
It’s official – Melbourne has experienced its warmest-ever July day – but the summery burst was shortlived with storms hitting the city.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Scott Williams said it was an extraordinary day in Melbourne.
“It was our hottest ever July day at 23.3 degrees (at 2.02pm) – 10 degrees above the July average.”
Everyone was talking about the “early summer” and “how unusual” the heat was.
This comes the same year of the Angry Summer, when the entire continent experienced a record breaking heat heatwave.
Unknown to many, and less dramatic, was the prolonged Autumn heatwave that covered most of Southern Australia. The Bureau of Meteorology Special Climate Statement No.45 details these exceptional conditions:
A prolonged heatwave affected southeast Australia between 2 and 13 March 2013, breaking numerous records, especially for the duration of persistent hot days and nights. The event followed Australia’s hottest month on record in January, and warmest summer on record from December 2012 to February 2013 (see Special Climate Statement 43).
The oceans surrounding Australia were similarly exceptionally warm, with sea surface temperatures also posting their hottest month on record in February, and warmest summer on record. The six months from September 2012 have been characterised by significant heatwaves and record temperatures for the entire Australian region. This heat has continued into March over a very large area of the country.
Hottest summer; an Autumn heatwave and the a winter’s day that felt like early summer.
Welcome to the new normal.