Historic heat wave brings Australia its hottest average temperature on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:27 PM GMT on January 08, 2013

Share this Blog
33
+

It's been a summer like no other in the history of Australia, where a sprawling heat wave of historical proportions is entering its second week. Monday, January 7, was the hottest day in Australian history, averaged over the entire country, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The high temperature averaged over Australia was 105°F (40.3°C), eclipsing the previous record of 104°F (40.2°C) set on 21 December 1972. Never before in 103 years of record keeping has a heat wave this intense, wide-spread, and long-lasting affected Australia. The nation's average high temperature exceeded 102°F (39°C) for five consecutive days January 2 - 6, 2013--the first time that has happened since record keeping began in 1910. Monday's temperatures extended that string by another day, to six. To put this remarkable streak in perspective, the previous record of four consecutive days with a national average high temperature in excess of 102°F (39°C) has occurred once only (1973), and only two other years have had three such days in a row--1972 and 2002 (thanks go to climate blogger Greg Laden for these stats.) Another brutally hot day is in store for Wednesday, as the high pressure region responsible for the heat wave, centered just south of the coast, will bring clear skies and a northerly flow of air over most of the country. A slight cool down will occur later in the week, as the high weakens and slides to the east of Australia. The western coast of Australia may see cloud cover and rain from Tropical Cyclone Narelle this weekend, but the rest of the country will see very little in the way of cloud cover or rain during the coming week.


Figure 1. Aerial view of fire at Copping/Forcett, Tasmania, at around 4pm on 4 Jan 2013, taken from an airplane leaving Hobart Airport. Image credit: Wikipedia.

As discussed by wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt in his Monday post, Australia's extreme heat helped fuel wild fires in southeastern Tasmania that burned to the ground at least 100 homes last Friday and Saturday. The temperature peaked in the state capital of Hobart at 41.8°C (107.2°F) on Friday, the hottest temperature on record for the city, and tied for the 2nd hottest temperature ever recorded in Tasmania (records go back to 1882). The 2013 Australian heat wave extends a period of unusual warmth for the country. The last four months of 2012 were the hottest such period on record, with an average Australian maximum temperature +1.61°C, just beating the previous record of 1.60°C set in 2002. The current heat wave has not yet set a record for all-time hottest temperature in Australian history, which remains the 50.7°C (123.3°F) reading on 2 January 1960 at Oodnadatta, South Australia.


Figure 2. Departure of high temperature from average (using a base period of 1961 - 1990) for the first six days of 2013. A large area of Australia has had high temperatures more than 6°C (11°F) higher than average. Image credit: Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 223 - 173

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6Blog Index

Quoting PedleyCA:
Good (barely-here) Afternoon. Much Nice Today. 72.9 outside and the first time in awhile that the temp outside was higher than inside (72.4) The low
this morning was 52.2 Yesterdays temps were 48.1 and 65.9 The forecast is for 73 today and tomorrow then crashing to the mid 50's (yuck)....
Sure has been cold out here in the west. Supposed to be in the low 40s tonight where I am (Santa Barbara). More cold expected after a trough passes through on Thursday
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VR46L:


I have never called anyone nuts on this forum . You dont even have to deny CC to be called a denier you just have to say you are unsure how much is man made ...


Nope. I don't remember anyone who questioned how much global warming might be due to greenhouse gases and how much might be due to other factors, being called a denier. It's a rational viewpoint.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting VR46L:


I have never called anyone nuts on this forum . You dont even have to deny CC to be called a denier you just have to say you are unsure how much is man made ...


I do not read every post that has ever been posted since I became a member here, but I have not seen this to be the case.I am not going to say it has never happened here before, but I find it difficult to imagine anyone being labeled as "denier" simply for stating they were unsure as to how much of the warming is anthropogenic warming. There is usually quite a bit more information given before the word "denier" is given as a label.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
220. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Darwin Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory
TROPICAL CYCLONE NARELLE, CATEGORY TWO (05U)
3:08 AM CST January 9 2012
=========================================

At 2:00 AM CST, Tropical Cyclone Narelle (984 hPa) was located near 12.5S 117.0E or 830 km northwest of Broome has 10 minute sustained winds of 55 knots with gusts of 75 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 8 knots.

Storm Force Winds
==================
50 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
150 NM from the center

Dvorak Intensity: T4.0/4.0/D1.5/24 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 13.3S 116.3E - 70 knots (CAT 3/Severe Tropical Cyclone)
24 HRS: 14.3S 116.1E - 90 knots (CAT 4/Severe Tropical Cyclone)
48 HRS: 16.9S 115.3E - 105 knots (CAT 4/Severe Tropical Cyclone)
72 HRS: 19.4S 113.3E - 105 knots (CAT 4/Severe Tropical Cyclone)

Additional Information
======================
Position based on 1406 UTC scatterometer and earlier microwave images. A central dense overcast has formed with a convective burst over the Low level circulation center. Peripheral banding in southwest sector, good outflow evident to north and west. An incipient eyewall is evident in microwave imagery. Dvorak analysis based on PAT=4.0, as DT uncertain in embedded center pattern. The radius of gale has been extended based on a good ASCAT pass.

The system is becoming more organized as it moves southwest into an area of reduced vertical wind shear. The environment is favorable for further development with deep moisture, broad-scale upper divergence and a vigorous westerly monsoonal flow to the north. Intensification is forecast at greater than the standard rate during the next 24-48 hours, with the cyclone reaching category 4 off the northwest coast of Western Australia
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good (barely-here) Afternoon. Much Nice Today. 72.9 outside and the first time in awhile that the temp outside was higher than inside (72.4) The low
this morning was 52.2 Yesterdays temps were 48.1 and 65.9 The forecast is for 73 today and tomorrow then crashing to the mid 50's (yuck)....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12Z ECMWF puts the heaviest rains over Central Texas still.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nymore:


Then why doesn't anyone ever say ocean currents may be behind the warming?

I still think we add our part but the real question now is what part.


I believe that is quite fair to ask. The simplest answer I have to finding out "how much" is for us to lower the CO2 levels back down to the levels before the warming began and then measure again.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
216. VR46L
Quoting ArkWeather:
You called people "nuts" and then whine that someone called you a "denier".


I have never called anyone nuts on this forum . You dont even have to deny CC to be called a denier you just have to say you are unsure how much is man made ...
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6811
Quoting FunnelVortex:


We just need it a lil more to the west.
300 miles to the west lol. Looks like Southeast Texas and La. will get most of this rain even and maybe along the Texas coast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


You keep forgetting to mention this quote from the article, nymore:

"However, it is thought that factors such as ocean current patterns may be behind the slowdown and scientists say the “variability” in climate change does not alter the long-term trend of rising temperatures."


Then why doesn't anyone ever say ocean currents may be behind the warming?

I still think we add our part but the real question now is what part.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
213. yoboi
Quoting yonzabam:


Al Gore has already done more than anyone else on the planet to raise awareness of the dangers of global warming, and has mostly received vilification and hatred for his pains.

It's a pathetic indictment of the irrationality of human nature that he now needs bodyguards. And that's a pretty pathetic post (yours, that is).



so ya don't have a link i was asking for??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1900hurricane:
Flash Flood guidance is the highest it has been in quite a while around here.



We just need it a lil more to the west.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Mentioned what the 12z CMC Ensemble was showing yesterday. Here's the latest from the GFS & ECMWF Ensembles...

GFS Ensembles (12z) Day 15 500mb Height Anomalies




ECMWF Ensembles (00z) Day 15 2m Temp Anomalies (C)





Still too far out for any confidence in this. But at the same time, I wouldn't buy into those saying that the second half of January into February will be record cold...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Flash Flood guidance is the highest it has been in quite a while around here.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
You called people "nuts" and then whine that someone called you a "denier".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
207. wxmod
Quoting TomballTXPride:





That's small potatoes.

You forget to mention all those pretty crisscrossing chemtrails being dumped by hundreds of military aircraft as part of a government conspiracy to fill the atmosphere with aluminum and barium aerosols to block out the sun's rays causing the Earth to rapidly warm.

WxMod, You're slipping. I'm disappointed in you.

Only 1 gold star for you today.






I just posted a satellite photo. It shows thousand of square miles cloaked in thick smog. If you were living under that smog and your kids were dying from asthma, maybe you would think that it was important. As it is, you can get paid for blogging all day, go home at night and tell your family that you contributed to ruining the planet for your kids. Thanks.
Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
Post season reports of Joyce with peak intensity of 35kts and Nadine at 80kts are out.

Link

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pcola57:


Ok Nea..
2010,2011,2012.
That would have probably been a more correct statement than the "years ago" that I posted..
Like i said when I posted that ,I am not taking sides..
I just looked up the Links you posted and saw what I described in my previous post to you..
I personally believe that the Climate has changed..
However I'm not going to impose my "verbal will" or incessantly beating a drum to others here on this blog..
I think that it is presumptuous to think others don't have the intelligence to figure it out for themselves..
JMO of course..


I find it interesting that many times certain people will call NEA out and even note when he does not make a quick reply to their statements. There is as much pull technology going here as there is push technology.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting FunnelVortex:


The term "Denier" is extremely childish. It does not make you look smart, it actually makes you look more idiotic.


No, what's really idiotic is to deny that those who deny something are deniers.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
201. VR46L
Quoting FunnelVortex:


The term "Denier" is extremely childish. It does not make you look smart, it actually makes you look more idiotic.


I think the use of labels is an attempt to marginalize almost dehumanize the person you are addressing . Through history we have seen what happens to people who are labelled ....


anyways...

interesting looking weather in the Gulf





Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6811
Alright congress, gtg i'll be back later when a nice conversation has returned to this blog.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9718
198. wxmod
The Himilaya and the sacred Ganges River valley, puffing with thick smog. MODIS satellite photo today

Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
If you aren't talking about the rain over TX, you're all being banned.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting yonzabam:


Oh, the irony! What about that 1998 straw the deniers still cling to? An anomalous outlier year 14 years ago, caused by the warmest El Nino on record, when Pacific SSTs were as much as 6C above average.

Still marginally the warmest year on record in the UK HadCRUT database, but exceeded by 2010 in the NASA and NOAA databases. Still, when you're all at sea, any straw will do.


The term "Denier" is extremely childish. It does not make you look smart, it actually makes you look more idiotic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yonzabam:


Oh, the irony! What about that 1998 straw the deniers still cling to? An anomalous outlier year 14 years ago, caused by the warmest El Nino on record, when Pacific SSTs were as much as 6C above average.

Still marginally the warmest year on record in the UK HadCRUT database, but exceeded by 2010 in the NASA and NOAA databases. Still, when you're all at sea, any straw will do.
I'm denying that my cable bill is $250.00.Damn please reassure me it's not.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16327







Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9718
192. VR46L
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


That map just came out yesterday. Thank you for posting it. Perhaps you could have just said that is so rare that we get see a map like that anymore and had been more correct in your statement?


Sorry Rookie I only saw your reply now but they are actually released daily and they have been growing blue everyday over the last week ...But I stand over what I said ...

edit one word
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6811
Quoting TomballTXPride:
Those who use one record year as proof for Man-Made Global Warming have got a lot to learn about Climate.


Oh, the irony! What about that 1998 straw the deniers still cling to? An anomalous outlier year 14 years ago, caused by the warmest El Nino on record, when Pacific SSTs were as much as 6C above average.

Still marginally the warmest year on record in the UK HadCRUT database, but exceeded by 2010 in the NASA and NOAA databases. Still, when you're all at sea, any straw will do.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nymore:
UK MET forecasts no global temperature increases for the next 5 years



Seems ripe for a blog from Jeff


You keep forgetting to mention this quote from the article, nymore:

"However, it is thought that factors such as ocean current patterns may be behind the slowdown and scientists say the “variability” in climate change does not alter the long-term trend of rising temperatures."
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
Quoting 1900hurricane:
Something that is troubling thus far is that the models haven't really picked up on the big batch of rain off of the coast, and convective feedback like that can often change forecasts very quickly.



It's robbed the influx of gulf moisture coming north
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting pcola57:

owever I'm not going to impose my "verbal will" or incessantly beating a drum to others here on this blog..
The funny thing is, there are always far more complaints here about people discussing climate change than there are comments actually discussing climate change.

Methinks some doth protest too much... ;-)

(I'm not sure what you mean by someone "imposing" their "verbal will"; are you perhaps confusing that with someone who discusses a particular issue with honest confidence?)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13442
Yep, they do. .... Who are you referring to, exactly?

Quoting TomballTXPride:
Those who use one record year as proof for Man-Made Global Warming have got a lot to learn about Climate.
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
Quoting hydrus:
Here is another shellnut..


In a nutshell, I made this comment to inform you of the fact that i love shellnuts.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9718
Something that is troubling thus far is that the models haven't really picked up on the big batch of rain off of the coast, and convective feedback like that can often change forecasts very quickly.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
182. VR46L
Rather Deep Convection in the Gulf region

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6811
Quoting RitaEvac:
Ceilings have dropped tremendously and hazy like conditions and somewhat darker out along the coast/Galveston Bay, as if warm front has moved in or something

I work in downtown Houston (32nd floor) and the visibility up here is really bad - can barely see across the street to another building, which is roughly 300 feet away. A few floors down the sky is much clearer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
To be fair pcola57, neither of the posters to whom I was responding mentioned a time frame; they simply stated, "Coldest winter in decades isn't extreme enough to get mentioned on this blog..." and "...cold not even talked about by know one". Is there something in those posts that implies they wanted only current data? If so, I missed it--though if they had specified, I'm sure a quick check o' the Google can prove such a complaint just as baseless.

When someone claims--as has often been done here--that "Dr. Masters never talks about cold weather," I believe it perfectly relevant to go back to either of the last two winters to prove that complaint false. I think most reasonable people would agree.

Wait: the February before last was "years ago"? ;-)


Ok Nea..
2010,2011,2012.
That would have probably been a more correct statement than the "years ago" that I posted..
Like i said when I posted that ,I am not taking sides..
I just looked up the Links you posted and saw what I described in my previous post to you..
I personally believe that the Climate has changed..
However I'm not going to impose my "verbal will" or incessantly beating a drum to others here on this blog..
I think that it is presumptuous to think others don't have the intelligence to figure it out for themselves..
JMO of course..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6760
It's official. In records dating to 1895, 2012 was the warmest year on record for the contiguous U.S., according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9718
Quoting Neapolitan:
FWIW, NOAA just released its 2012 State of the Climate report, which contains this map:

hot

Discuss amongst yourselves.
Actually my local news paper released that about a week ago.No one is going to forget the summer of 2012 ;-).At least not around here.The thunderstorms were as one local met said "super" thunderstorms.I'm not just talking about that derecho either ;-).
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16327
Quoting JNCali:
looks like a bunch a propaganda to me.... ;D


Nea is always going on about AGW and blames as much on it as possible.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Ceilings have dropped tremendously and hazy like conditions and somewhat darker out along the coast/Galveston Bay, as if warm front has moved in or something
Pretty nice day here too. The Drizzle has stopped and fog has lifted, no real rain here last 24 hrs but it did thunder earlier. Does not look like it will be an all day event, hopefully overnight tonight we get some? The weathermen locally are alot less optimistic than they were yesterday at this time, LOL. They are saying we are going to be on the Edge of having decent rains, that is way it is here all the time right on the edge between alot of rain or no rain at ll. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
FWIW, NOAA just released its 2012 State of the Climate report, which contains this map:

hot

Discuss amongst yourselves.
looks like a bunch a propaganda to me.... ;D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:
Ceilings have dropped tremendously and hazy like conditions and somewhat darker out along the coast/Galveston Bay, as if warm front has moved in or something

I don't think it is there yet, but looks like it should be there pretty soon!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 223 - 173

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
64 °F
Mostly Cloudy