Records tumbled again across northwest Western Australia today as temperatures nudged to close to 50C! The hottest was Marble Bar which rebroke its new December record for the second day in the row – this time reaching 49.3C. The original record was 48.4C but was broken yesterday when the mercury reached 48.5C. 49.3C also makes it the third hottest temperature ever recorded during December in Australia. The hottest was 49.5C in 1972 at Birdsville and second hottest was 49.4C in Roebourne in December 2011. This also makes it the hottest temperature ever recorded in December since 2011.
Even though no station officially reached 50C, it’s quite likely that had there been more reporting stations that a 50C temperature would have been officially reported. Other extreme temperatures included 49.1C in Onslow and 48.9C in Roebourne – of which Roebourne reached 48.9C before midday! After this the seabreeze rolled through helping to ‘cool’ temperatures down to 47C. Karijini North reached 47.6C but lies at 474m above sea level. This means in theory, had this station been at sea level (ie 0m), that it would have been 4.7C warmer (or 52.3C!) This is because air cools by 1C every 100m in elevation, so to reach 47.6C at such a high elevation is incredible.
While very hot temperatures will continue across northwest Western Australia for some time, temperatures will hover in the mid 40s as opposed to the high 40s. Unfortunately that heat is now going to extend southeast and parts of South Australia could reach into the high 40s tomorrow! A forecast chart of maximum temperatures from ACCESS R is displayed.