Last burst of heat for northern AustraliaBrett Dutschke, Monday April 22, 2013 - 15:37 EST
Northern Australia is being thumped by its final burst of heat for the season, which is unusually late for some places.
This afternoon temperatures have reached the high thirties in northern parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, as much as seven degrees above average for this time of year.
Tennant Creek in the NT and Mt Isa in Queensland have hit 38 degrees, the hottest it has been this late in autumn in more than 40 years.
On the border, Canmooweal reached 39 degrees for the first time this late in the season in 69 years of records.
Skies have become clear in the last week or so with the rapid decline of monsoonal shower-and-storm activity. The clearer skies have provided more than a week's worth of sunshine, allowing heat to build.
Today a low pressure trough linked to a cold front has moved through the northern interior of Australia, generating gusty winds and mixing the heat around.
The trough is starting to bring a southerly change which will cool the region by at least five degrees in the next few days and send the hottest air to the far north of Australia.
The areas which are looking hotter tomorrow compared to today are the Northern Tropical Coast and Tablelands, Northern Goldfields, Victoria River, Darwin-Daly and Kimberley.
The cooler change, which will also filter through the far north is unlikely to bring significant rain due to the atmosphere being so dry.
The cooler change will lose effect by the end of the week and wind will turn more easterly again, allowing it to heat up. But it is unlikely to become as hot as today for quite a while, not until at least September, at the start of the next warm season.
© Weatherzone 2013
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Warmer-than-normal oceans have contributed to a late end to a big wet season across the southern hemisphere.
Frosty morning temperatures are expected over Victoria and New South Wales on Thursday.