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article imageAustralia's summer was hottest on record, with more to come

By Karen Graham     Feb 28, 2019 in World
Australia has endured its hottest summer ever, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), breaking the previous record set six years ago. Forecasts show the southern autumn will continue to be drier and warmer than normal.
“After a record hot December and January, it won’t come as a surprise that this summer will be our warmest on record,” said Andrew Watkins, manager of long-range forecasting at the BoM, reports the Japan Times.
The final figures on the 2018-2019 summer won't be available until Friday, but the BoM says it is already clear that the average maximum and mean temperature for this summer will be more than two degrees Celsius higher (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) than average.
“Summer has been our warmest summer on record in terms of maximum temperatures, in terms of minimum temperatures and in terms of mean temperatures,” Watkins said.
Watkins added, "Unfortunately, the outlook isn't giving a strong indication that we'll see a return to average or above average rainfall in many areas over the autumn period," according to CTV News Canada.
The mean temperature across Australia for the month of January has exceeded 30 degrees Celsius for t...
The mean temperature across Australia for the month of January has exceeded 30 degrees Celsius for the first time in record history
Saeed KHAN, AFP/File
Summer heatwave was true to predictions
On October 25, 2018, the BoM released its outlook for November 2018 to January 2019. The prediction was for temperatures to be higher than average with a below average amount of rainfall. The forecast came after Australia’s driest September on record and the declaration in August that NSW was 100 percent in drought.
By the end of January, the BoM reported the mean temperature across the vast continent in January exceeded 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in recorded history.
At the time, Watkins said the main immediate cause of the heat was a persistent high-pressure system in the Tasman Sea south of Australia which blocked cold fronts and cooler air from reaching country. The hottest temperatures during the month were experienced in South Australia, where the mercury hit 49.5 degrees C (120 degrees F) on January 24.
Forecast predictions going forward are not showing much in the way of relief for farmers in drought-0stricken regions. with the BoM saying there are “very high odds” that hot, dry conditions would continue. Any rainfall will not be a big help, said Watkins. “I wish we had better news than that,” he said.
More about Australia, Climate change, record jheat, Bureau of Meteorology, extreme heat
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