1 March 2013

Hottest Summer Ever Down Under

Posted by Dan Satterfield

It was so hot this summer in Australia that the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) had to add an extra color to their temperature map!

From the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia today:

Bureau of Meteorology confirms it’s been the hottest summer on record

This summer hasn’t just felt hot. It’s been hot. The numbers are in, and the Bureau has confirmed this summer has been Australia’s hottest on record.

Courtesy BOM Australia.

The most extreme heat occurred in the first three weeks of January during an exceptionally widespread and prolonged heatwave. The highest temperature recorded during the heatwave was at Moomba in South Australia at 49.6°C.

Of the 112 locations used in long-term climate monitoring, 14 had their hottest day on record during the summer of 2012/13 – the largest number in any single summer. Record temperatures were also set in two capital cities; Sydney with 45.8°C and Hobart with 41.8°C.

A new record was also set for the number of consecutive days the average maximum daily temperature for Australia exceeded 39°C – seven days between 2 and 8 January 2013, almost doubling the previous record of four consecutive days in 1973.

Despite heavy rainfall on the east coast, compounded as ex-tropical cyclone Oswald cut a steady path down the eastern-seaboard, for most of Australia it was a dry summer.

Nationally, summer rainfall was at its lowest since 2004-05. Victoria had its driest summer since 1984-85 and South Australia since 1985-86.

This summer follows a pattern of extremely hot summers in various parts of the world over the past few years.

While the final numbers for the Southern Hemisphere summer will not be confirmed until mid-March, it was the hottest December on record for land areas of the Southern Hemisphere, followed by the hottest January. Large parts of southern Africa recorded their hottest January on record.

Hotter temperatures were also recorded in large parts of Argentina, Chile and Brazil, while temperatures in parts of Patagonia were more than 4°C above normal in January.

For further information go to www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/