A remote town in Western Australia has equalled the country’s hottest day on record, reporting a scorching 50.7 degrees Celsius (123.26 degrees Fahrenheit), the Bureau of Meteorology said.
Such temperatures could become commonplace in Australia due to global warming, the country’s Climate Council warned.
The coastal town of Onslow hit the blistering high on Thursday afternoon.
“NEW Western Australian maximum temperature record and equal National temperature record!” the state’s Bureau of Meteorology posted on Twitter.
“Onslow reached an unprecedented – 50.7C which is a WA record and equals Australia’s hottest day set 62 years ago in Oodnadatta SA.”
The country last recorded a temperature of 50.7C on January 2, 1960 at South Australia’s Oodnadatta Airport, according to the bureau’s website.
Climate Council research director Dr Martin Rice said the record was “part of a long-term warming trend driven by the burning of coal, oil and gas”.
He said extreme temperatures were already having “deadly catastrophic consequences” in Australia.
“Heatwaves are the silent killer in Australia, they cause more deaths than any other extreme weather events,” he said.
Australia has experienced a summer with bushfires in the country’s west and deadly flooding on its eastern coast.
Rice said that, without a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, such record temperatures could become commonplace in Australia.
“In Sydney and Melbourne, we will see 50-degree summer days by 2030,” he said.
The Bureau of Meteorology is expected to confirm the record officially on Friday afternoon after quality control checks are completed.