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Longer November heatwave 130 years ago

Brett Dutschke, Tuesday November 24, 2009 - 12:57 EDT

The most recent heatwave was record-breaking for many areas, but in November 1878 a heatwave lasted almost twice as long, according to weatherzone.com.au.

Nearly all inland areas of New South Wales and South Australia and surrounding areas of Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory have had at least eight days of extreme heat, record-breaking for November.

But in some inland towns, records were not broken.

Inland weather stations which have measured temperature for the last 131 years or longer show that there was a November heatwave which lasted about two weeks.

Gunnedah, in northern NSW had 15 consecutive days of 35 degrees or hotter in November 1878. This month Gunnedah had nine in a row, the longest November stretch in 131 years. The northern NSW town only averages four-to-five days above 35 in November.

With this piece of evidence one could claim that this most recent hot spell is unprecedented in November in 131 years.

For some coastal areas of South Australia, including Adelaide this year's heatwave is the longest on record for November. Official temperatures have been measured as far back as 1887 in Adelaide, but not as far back as 1878, like Gunnedah.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2009

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