Category Archives: Heat Wave

Extensive period of heat last days to even weeks

Unusual April heat SE Australia 5 and 6 April 2016

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A strong cold front passing across southern Australia has heralded what should be the end of the summer heat. The air ahead of this front has been relatively hot and maximum daytime temperatures have soared well above average.

In areas such as Western Sydney, it has reached 30C on two consecutive days which is quite rare for April. Generally, it has reached 30C on 4 of the first 6 days of April in areas such as Penrith and Richmond and 3 days in areas such as Blacktown and Camden.

It is suggested that a new April maximum high temperature has been set for Sydney (6/4/2016) following a maximum of 34C being recorded in the city.

In Victoria, maximum temperatures soared well above average during Tuesday with maximum temperatures reaching 29C in Melbourne, 30.5C at Swan Hill, 31.7C at Geelong, 31.8C at Albury and 32C at Mildura. The cold front dropped temperatures sharply throughout the state during Wednesday as hot dry north west winds were replaced with colder south to south westerly winds.

Across New South Wales, some high maximum daytime temperatures have occurred which is more common of summer rather than April. At Bourke in particular, it reached 36.6C on the 5/4/16 and 38.6C on the 6/4/16 and it is suggested that was the hottest April day anywhere in New South Wales for 30 years (Source Weatherzone 6/4/2016).

The air ahead of the front has seen maximum temperatures push into the mid 30Cs in areas that would not normally see such degree of heat at this time of year including:-

Penrith - 36.2C at 3 pm.
Camden, Maitland and Tocal - 36C at 3 pm.
Blacktown - 35.7C.
Moruya - 35C before the change went through late afternoon.
Sydney city - 34C at 1.24 pm (This event follows a downpour overnight Sunday / Monday that saw 94.4 mm of rain fall).

Even places such as Canberra reached 30.5C at 3 pm and Bathurst had 30C.

The cold front certainly made its presence felt because Merimbula on the New South Wales far south coast only reached 23C due to the early arrival of the change and Bega only reached 24.2C at 10.30 am.

There was a wide maximum daily temperature variation between Merimbula and Moruya on the New South Wales south coast due to the presence of the cold front moving slowly along the south coast.

With the passage of the cold front, it is unlikely that such high temperature will be seen again this summer season across south east Australia and Autumn is expected to take hold as the transition towards winter gathers pace.

The plots taken from the Bureau of MeteorologyWater and the Land” for:-

1 - Maximum temperature for 6/4/16 for New South Wales and Australia.
2 - Maximum temperature anomaly for 6/4/16 for New South Wales and Australia.

Are attached.

Both show the heat affecting the state and the impact of the cold front passing through. Interestingly across a narrow swathe of New South Wales being south east to north west, the maximum temperature anomaly was 10C to 12C above average for the day. This is an incredible contrast to Victoria where maximum temperatures were 4C to 6C below the long term average behind the change.

The satellite photo of south east Australia dated 6/4/2016 shows the cold front and cloud mass generated. Some light to moderate rain has fallen across southern Victoria but generally there was not much rain with the change further north as it passed through. (Source - Himawari 8 / Bureau of Meteorology and dated 6/4/2016).

Southern Australia early March heatwave 1 to 12 March 2016

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Another heatwave is unfolding across Southern Australia during the first few days of March. This heatwave is likely to be the last for the summer 2015/2016 season.

The heatwave is covering a large portion of inland Australia and several inland centres are experiencing temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s. There are signs that the current heat will be waning in intensity late in the week as temperatures start to moderate. However for the time being, it is expected to be quite hot at least until Friday or Saturday in some centres.

As shown in the satellite photo of southern Australia dated 6 March 2016, a few clouds exists across the inland but for the most part, clear skies predominate. It is also dry again especially across more northern areas.

I have recently flown across the wheat sheep belt of Central New South Wales and it is clear that the regions near Forbes and Parkes are incredibly dry and in need for desperate rain.

Some exceptional temperatures recorded for early March 2016 include:-

1 - Hay - It has reached 40C on two consecutive days being 39C on the 4/3, 41.1C on the 5/3 and 40.5C on the 6/3.

2 - Deniliquin - 39.4C on the 5/3/2016 and 39.1C on the 6/3/2016.

3 - Fowlers Gap - 39C on the 6/3/2016.

4 - Albury - 38.2C on the 5/3/2016.

The worst of the heat is affecting the inland regions but it is noted that much of Western Sydney has enjoyed 5 days in a row where maximum temperatures have reached into the low 30s.

Some forecast maximum temperatures for Monday to Saturday include:-

Albury - Mon (38C), Tue (38C), Wed (37C), Thu (36C), Fri (36C) and Sat (35C).
Blacktown - Mon (32C), Tue (31C), Wed (35C), Thu (33C), Fri (32C) and Sat (31C).
Broken Hill - Mon (39C), Tue (39C), Wed (38C), Thu (38C), Fri (37C) and Sat (34C).
Cobar - Mon (38C), Tue (37C), Wed (37C), Thu (37C), Fri (37C) and Sat (37C).
Dubbo - Mon (35C), Tue (35C), Wed (35C), Thu (35C), Fri (35C) and Sat (34C).
Goulburn - Mon (33C), Tue (31C), Wed (34C), Thu (32C), Fri (31C) and Sat (30C).
Ivanhoe - Mon (40C), Tue (40C), Wed (40C), Thu (40C), Fri (39C) and Sat (39C).
Penrith - Mon (34C), Tue (33C), Wed (36C), Thu (34C), Fri (33C) and Sat (33C).
Tibooburra - Mon (39C), Tue (38C), Wed (39C), Thu (39C), Fri (38C) and Sat (38C).
Wagga Wagga - Mon (37C), Tue (38C), Wed (37C), Thu (37C), Fri (37C) and Sat (36C).

As shown, there is evidence of maximum temperatures moderating towards the end of the week which is suggesting some form of a change approaching or passing through. Hot weather in early March is common but generally after the middle of the month as Autumn takes more effect, a cooling trend will commence.


Bureau of Meteorology 6/3/2016 - Water and the Land maximum temperature plot.
NASA (MODIS Worldview) Southern Australia acquired 6/3/2016.

Major heatwave affects inland Australia 12/2/2016

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As shown on the daily forecast maximum temperature plots taken from the BSCH for 4 pm Saturday to Monday 13 to the 15 February 2016, a significant heatwave is impacting a vast region of the continent especially the northern regions, desert regions and regions away from the southern coastlines.

The heatwave is vast that Western Australia, Northern Territory, inland Queensland, inland South Australia and inland western and northern New South Wales is worst affected.

Many inland communities are sweltering in maximum temperatures reaching into the low 40Cs for days at a time.

Some of the worst affected areas is by far the Pilbara region of North West Western Australia where the dome of heat is not breaking up. As such forecasts of 44C or hotter are being made at several places including Marble Bar and Telfer. A forecast high of 47C is being made for Marble Bar for both Saturday and Sunday while a forecast high of 46C is being made for Telfer for Saturday. Generally any location within the Pilbara region have temperature forecasts of 45C or hotter for the next few days.

Earlier this week the city of Perth endured a heatwave that saw 4 consecutive days of 40C or higher which ended on Wednesday. Between Sunday and Wednesday 7 to 10 February, a maximum high of 40.4C, 42.5C, 41.2C and 40.3C was recorded. This is considered to be mild when compared to Pearce Air Force Base (NE of Perth) that saw 40.6C, 43.1C, 44.3C and 45.1C recorded during the same period.

This was not a record for Perth but it is rare for the city to endure such degree of heat over four days.

Gascoyne Junction has experience three days in a row of maximum temperatures exceeding 45C with 46.6C recorded on the 11/2/2016. Shark Bay recorded one day of 46C which occurred on the 8/2/2016. Other towns where 45C has been reached some time in the past few days include Cunderdin and Northam (11/2/2016) inland north east of Perth.

Other localities have sweltered in the low 40Cs (Between 40C and 43C).

In the case of South Australia, it is the desert region that is worst affected such as Moomba, Maree and Oodnadatta. Oodnadatta has sweltered through three days of 40C maximum temperatures.

In Western New South Wales, the heat is limited to the western desert regions such as Broken Hill and Fowlers Gap. At Fowlers Gap, it has reached 40C on two consecutive days of Wednesday and Thursday and it has reached 38C or hotter for the past 5 days. The township of Minindee has experienced three days of 40C in a row Tuesday to Thursday and White Cliffs has sweltered through 5 consecutive days of 38C or hotter.

In Queensland, perhaps the town with the highest maximum temperatures recorded for the past week is at Julia Creek where the following has occurred:-

Friday (5/2) 38.3C.
Saturday (6/2) 39C.
Sunday (7/2) 40.8C.
Monday (8/2) 41.5C.
Tuesday (9/2) 39.9C.
Wednesday (10/2) 39.2C.
Thursday (11/2) 39.3C.

This represents 7 consecutive days where 38C or higher has been recorded.

It has even been hot at Birdsville where 41.2C, 41.9C and 42.6C was recorded on 9, 10 and 11 February 2016.

In Northern Territory it appears that a township called Wullungurra has recorded the longest spell of maximum temperatures over 38C. In this regard, the town has sweltered through 5 consecutive days where 39C has been recorded including 4 consecutive days of 40C with 41.9C being recorded on the 11/2/2016.

This generally shows a strong heatwave across the interior of the continent although it is affecting a vast region. It is interesting that other than Perth and its regions, all other capital cities are not experiencing this event. Of course, the worst of the heat is afflicting mostly uninhabited regions or sparsely populated regions of the country.


Bureau of Meteorology (Maximum temperatures) (Various) acquired 12/2/2016.