Perth swelters through record six consecutive days over 40C temperatures


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AGW? Is there more to come as February is usually the hottest month?

Which city will be the first to become unlivable in Summer?

Perth swelters through record six consecutive days over 40C temperatures
West Australian capital also setting records for most days above 40C in a summer with the tally now at 11 days

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Four people in the Swan river drink from cans against Perth city backdrop
Locals cool off with a drink in Perth’s Swan River on Saturday as the city baked in 41.1C heat – the fifth day in a row over 40C before a sixth was registered on Sunday. A cool change is expected on Monday. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Paul Karp
Sun 23 Jan 2022 05.34 GMT

Perth has registered a record sixth consecutive day over 40C as the heatwave in Western Australia continued on Sunday ahead of an expected cool change on Monday.

Perth reached 40.1C about midday on Sunday, marking the 11th day above 40C this summer.

Perth’s previous record for total summer days over 40C was seven days in 2015-16.

When Perth reached 40C on Friday for a fourth consecutive day it matched the previous record sequence reached in the WA capital on three previous occasions, including last Christmas.

Luke Huntington, duty forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology in WA, said it had been “particularly hot all along the west coast” with Geraldton recording five days over 43C from Tuesday and Carnarvon reaching 45C.

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Huntington told Guardian Australia there was “definitely a cool change coming through for tomorrow, we’re back down to 33C [in Perth] tomorrow”.

“It looks like cooler temperatures throughout the week, around the low 30s, but it looks like the heat returns next weekend, with tops near 40 again.”

“Perth’s summer [heatwaves] are typically caused by a heat trough, which usually forms down the west coast, and when it’s offshore it brings down the hot hair through inland parts, then when it moves inland it brings cooler sea breezes.

“What’s unusual about this event is the trough has remained offshore for multiple days, bringing that hot air down.

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“Normally we’d only see that trough hanging around for two or three days. For some reason, which we’re not too sure about yet, that trough has been hanging off the coast for at least four or five days.”

Last week a temperature of 50.7C was recorded at Onslow in WA’s Pilbara region, matching the hottest temperature ever recorded in Australia, according to the preliminary data.

Two other sites notched 50C-plus temperatures, a level only previously reported three times on standardised equipment.

On Friday, Robert Lawry, a senior hydrologist at the bureau’s WA office, said February is typically Perth’s hottest month.

The previous periods with seven 40C days in Perth between November and March came in 2006-07, 2015-16 and 2019-20, a tally already exceeded this summer.

“There’s a pretty obvious trend there,” Lawry said. “They’ve all happened in the last 20 years.”

The odds of enduring very hot temperatures have already increased substantially as a result of climate change, he said, adding, “this kind of thing is what you can expect to happen more frequently”.

The bureau’s forecast for the Victorian capital is for a week of days reaching 30C or more. Sydney, though, is in for a continuation of its mostly muggy and damp days, with humidity levels well above the norm for January.


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The portents are bad for February in Australia which is usually the hottest month.

South America has also been experiencing record temperatures and heat waves.

According to the 2017 U.S. Climate Science Special Report, if yearly emissions continue to increase rapidly, as they have since 2000, models project that by the end of this century, global temperature will be at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the 1901-1960 average, and possibly as much as 10.2 degrees warmer. If annual emissions increase more slowly and begin to decline significantly by 2050, models project temperatures would still be at least 2.4 degrees warmer than the first half of the 20th century, and possibly up to 5.9 degrees warmer.

... Already, South America’s summer of 2022 is hot as blazes: “Practically all of Argentina and also neighboring countries such as Uruguay, southern Brazil, and Paraguay are experiencing the hottest days in history.” This is according to Cindy Fernández, meteorologist at the official National Meteorological Service. (Source: ‘Another Hellish Day’” South American Sizzles in Record Summer Temperatures, The Guardian, January 14, 2022)

Argentina, as of January 12, 2022 reported: 129°F ground temperatures that brought blackouts. “This is a heat wave of extraordinary characteristics, with extreme temperature values that will even be analyzed after its completion, and it may generate some historical records for Argentina temperatures and persistence of heat,” according to meteorologist Lucas Berengua. (Source: Copernicus Sentinel 3 Satellite data discussion)

Thereafter, Argentina’s infrastructure sagged and 700,000 people were without power, and drinking water purification systems went on the blink. Argentina’s ground temperatures echoed readings from the Northern Hemisphere of only 6 months ago, which, in retrospect, served as a foreboding for the southern continent, as it now begins its summer. ...
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Likely Adelaide—blazing hot and increasing summer humidity—and Brisbane—hot AND very humid—could be the two cities to become unlivable first. Darwin could be in there too.