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Record heat in central Tasmania

Rob Sharpe, Sunday March 10, 2013 - 15:01 EDT

Launceston is on target to more than double the record for consecutive days above 30 degrees with three more days to go.

Today was the sixth day in a row that Launceston has exceeded 30 degrees. The previous longest run in 33 years of records was four days in a row, set in January 2006. This stretch includes a record March temperature of 33 degrees. Launceston is likely to reach 30 degrees for the next three days, more than doubling the previous record.

Butlers Gorge has also been very warm, experiencing their hottest March week in 42 years of records, averaging 27.8 degrees. This is 11 degrees above the March average.

This very unusual heat for Tasmania is due to a dominance of high pressure to the east of Tasmania. Air circulating around high pressure systems have fed heat from the mainland south over Tasmania. The fronts that typically cross Tasmania at regular intervals providing cooler air have been slipping south for over a week, only impacting the south of the state.

A weak trough is currently crossing Tasmania, providing minimal cooling, however it is bringing thunderstorms. Storms began this afternoon from Waratah to Miena, with Liawenee gaining 26mm by 2pm. Storms are likely to continue into the evening and spread further east. Hobart may gain up to 5mm today from showers or storms, yet 5mm would make it Hobart's heaviest rain in more than 5 weeks.

Cooling is coming in the form of a strong frontal system that will arrive on Wednesday, most likely in the afternoon. Ahead of this front winds will generally be northerly, drawing in even warmer air from mainland Australia.

Typical autumn weather will arrive in the wake of the front with temperatures returning to near average from Thursday.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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