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Temperatures climb towards 50s as heatwave grips Western Australia

 
Heatwave in Australia

Extreme heat: a bakery in the outback town of Birdsville. Photograph: PR image

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Temperatures climb towards 50s as heatwave grips Western Australia” was written by Oliver Milman, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 8th January 2014 07.24 UTC

Australia’s record temperature could be toppled on Wednesday and Thursday, with a fearsome heatwave striking large parts of Western Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology had predicted that the remote outpost of Emu Creek could reach 52C on Wednesday, but this was later scaled down to the high-40s.

The temperature in Emu Creek, located in the Pilbara, will be matched on Wednesday by Onslow, which will reach 49C, while Marble Bar will get up to 46C.

A relatively minor temperature increase in these locations will see them break the daily temperature record of 50.7C, set in the small South Australian town of Oodnadatta in 1960.

The bureau warned that hot and gusty winds would cause extreme fire danger to the Exmouth gulf coast and the Gascoyne and south interior regions.

The temperature record has already been challenged in a sweltering start to 2014 for Australia’s interior. On 2 January, Moomba in South Australia reached 49.3C, with 12 other locations in the state baking in heat of 48C or more.

The bureau has developed a new pilot heatwave forecasting service, with initial readings showing the fiercest temperatures in the Northern Territory and parts of the Kimberley in Western Australia in the coming days.

The hot beginning to 2014 follows what was Australia’s warmest ever year since records began in 1910. 2013 was 1.2C warmer than the long-term average, with January setting new highs for the hottest day, week and month ever recorded.

 

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