The Australian Heat Wave

Tuesday 07th Jan 2014 by theWeather Club

The last week of 2013 and the first week of 2014 saw a record-setting heat wave affecting much of Australia after a year that has now been confirmed as the hottest on record by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. In fact December 2013 was the 17th consecutive month in which Australia recorded an above average mean temperature. Also in December the national area-averaged maximum temperature anomaly was 0.77 °C, the minimum temperature anomaly was 0.40 °C and the mean temperature anomaly was 0.58 °C.

Many areas also experienced their hottest day on record recently. This comes on top of summer 2012/2013, which was dubbed the "Angry Summer", when a new colour had to be added to the charts to record ever increasing temperatures.

The heat progressed across the continent, where it increased in Western Australia in late December, before moving south and then eventually across parts of Queensland and New South Wales in early January.

It reached a peak on 3 January, which became the hottest day on record in Queensland, according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology. The highest temperature that was reported during the heat wave was 49.3 degrees on 2 Jan.  in Moomba, South Australia. This temperature fell just short of the heat experienced in January of 2013.

The Bureau of Meteorology also reported that 34 locations in Australia set all-time high temperature records between 30 December 2013 and 4 January 2014.

The heat is expected to continue for a while, although most of the significant heat has now retreated to the central and northern interior of Queensland.