18 Dec 2019

Australia's heatwave registers new hottest day on record

6:33 pm on 18 December 2019

Yesterday was Australia's hottest day on record, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM).

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Photo: 123 RF

The average temperature across the country was 40.9C, breaking the mark of 40.3C set in January 2013.

It is a record unlikely to last for long. The heat is expected to keep building over the next few days as the air mass moves across the country.

Temperatures were well over 45C for much of the interior - the location record (50.7C at Oodnadatta) is still safe - but the wide spread of exceptional heat meant the national average record was broken.

A few of the standout temperatures yesterday included:

  • Ceduna (SA) - 46.5
  • Birdsville (Qld) - 46.1
  • Lajamanu (NT) - 46
  • Rabbit Flat (NT) - 45.8
  • Jervois (NT) - 45.6
  • Longreach (Qld) - 45.3
  • Trepell (Qld) - 45
  • Oodnadatta (SA) - 44.9

Oodnadatta is forecast to reach 47C today, tomorrow and Friday, before cooling slightly to 45C on Saturday.

Oak Valley, further to the west in outback South Australia, is predicted to reach 49C tomorrow.

Closer to the coast, the heat is far from over for Adelaide. Daily maximums for West Terrace - the city's western-most street - will hover around 42C before reaching 44C on Friday, when the fire danger is also expected to peak.

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