Alice Springs has endured 20 straight days in excess of 30 degrees, and while the extended hot spell is likely to end today, it has broken several records along the way.
In 71 years of records, the town has not endured such an extended period of heat this early in the warming season. The current spell heat began on the 27th of August and is likely to be ended today as a cooler air mass is left behind in the wake of a low pressure trough.
There hasn't been a stretch this long of 30 degree heat in September, or even October. Previously, the earliest there had been 20 consecutive days of 30 degree heat was in a period from late October into early November in 2002, which turned into 36 consecutive days.
The unseasonably hot temperatures also meant the record for the hottest winter-to-spring transition, and hottest start to spring have been broken. This also follows the hottest start to the year on record.
In fact, so far this September the town is averaging a maximum of 33.5 degrees, more than six degrees above its long term average. With the previous September record averaging a maximum of 30.7 set in 1980, it is almost certain the monthly record will be broken.
With above average temperatures likely for at least another week, with it also set to reach into the mid 30's again over the weekend, this month could make the September of 1980 look comparatively cool.
© Weatherzone 2013
16:51 EDT A lot has been said about struggling southern Mallee grain crops.