Well, it’s officially summer, although I’m sure many of you will contend that it arrived a few days ago.
The numbers back you up, with records tumbling over the weekend, most notably in South Australia and New South Wales which registered their hottest November days since records began.
And it’s not over yet — this week may see more records broken in southern Queensland and northern NSW, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).
- South Australia and NSW broke their November maximum temperature records
- 20 sites with records going back over 30 years broke their November maximum records
- More records could yet fall across southern Queensland and northern NSW this week
BOM senior meteorologist Dean Narramore said Andamooka in outback South Australia reached 48C on Saturday, surpassing the 47.9C recorded at Tarcoola on November 30, 1993.
In New South Wales, 46.9C was recorded at the relatively new weather station at Smithville near the SA border, topping the 46.8C at Wanaaring on November 20, 2009.
The Ouyen weather station south of Mildura, with 64 years of data, equalled its own Victorian record of 45.8C.
“We saw 20 sites across NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory break maximum temperature records with over 30 years of data,” Mr Narramore said.
Here are some of the locations that broke their November station records on Saturday:
|Andamooka, South Australia **||48.0C|
|Marree Airport, South Australia||47.5C|
|Roxby Downs, South Australia||47.4C|
|Smithville, New South Wales **||46.9C|
|Ouyen, Victoria *||45.8C|
|Hay, New South Wales||45.5C|
|Sydney Airport, New South Wales||43.0C|
** state November record
* equal to state November record
The national record for the hottest November day still holds — 48.7C at Birdsville in 1990.
Some of these stations only have relatively short records like Smithville (which opened in 2017), while those like Andamooka (opened 1965) are far more long-running.
Here are a few of the locations that broke their overnight November station records on Saturday:
|Birdsville Airport, Queensland||33.2C|
|Tibooburra, New South Wales||31.3C|
|Cobar, New South Wales||30.1C|
|Newcastle Nobbys, New South Wales||23.7C|
According to Mr Narramore, at least 13 sites with at least 30 years of records broke November overnight temperature records.
The warmest overnight temperature ever recorded in Australia in November was 35.0C in 1965 at the Cunnamulla Post Office in Queensland.
Warm overnight temperatures are a key element of a heatwave, as they make it difficult to recover from the heat of the day and make it easier for temperatures to climb the following day.
Some of the locations that broke station records on Sunday:
|Walgett, New South Wales||45.0C|
|Maitland, New South Wales||41.6C|
|Kempsey, New South Wales||40.1C|
Kempsey is right on the coast of northern New South Wales with more than 20 years of data, so 40 degrees there is pretty hot, Mr Narramore said.
It is not just single-day records
Sydney broke 40C on back-to-back days — 40.8C on Saturday and 40.5C on Sunday.
“This is only the second time in 162 years of records that Sydney Observation Hill has recorded back-to-back 40-degree temperatures,” Mr Narramore said.
And that’s for any month, not just in November; the previous time was in January 1960.
Mr Narramore said spring could also have been one of the warmest on record, but we will have to wait for the numbers to be crunched before we know for sure.
If you thought it was bad in Sydney, spare a thought for Birdsville which has now had four days over 46C, with 47C forecast today.
Here are some of the locations that broke November station records on Monday:
|Moree, New South Wales||44.3C|
|St George, Queensland||45.1C|
|Inverell, New South Wales||38.6C|
It’s not over yet
Today will be particularly hot across much of northern and inland New South Wales, and Mr Narramore said we’re now likely to see record temperatures for December.
“We’re looking to break more records across southern Queensland and northern New South Wales on Tuesday and Wednesday with the next burst of heat, with temperatures up to 48C forecast for places like Bourke and 47C at Birdsville, Walgett and a few others.”
Brisbane is forecast to remain in the low to mid 30s for the rest of the week, while Ipswich is expected to reach 36C today before peaking at 41C on Wednesday.
Mr Narramore said numerous locations on the Darling Down could approach or exceed December records.
The heat is expected to peak on Wednesday for many locations in southern Queensland, reaching 43C in Dalby, 38C in Toowoomba, 43C in Chinchilla and 46C in Goondiwindi — even Texas on the border with NSW is looking at around 44C.
“That’s pretty hot air for that part of the world,” Mr Narramore said.
These record temperatures also raise the fire danger, so keep up to date with the latest warmings and follow the advice of your local emergency services.
Take it easy in the sun and check in with those more vulnerable around you.