Red Centre to get little respite from heatBy Gail Liston, Thursday January 17, 2013 - 16:01 EDT
Central Australia is experiencing its hottest January on record.
The weather bureau says today will mark the 17th day in a row with temperatures above 40 degrees.
The high temperatures are expected to continue until March.
The bureau says it is expecting the temperatures to bounce back to the 40s next week, after a cool change.
Climatologist Joel Lisonbee says the high temperatures are the result of a stubborn high pressure system sitting over the continent.
"With this cool change we're seeing later this week, the high pressure, this hot dry air mass is going to be moving off to the east and this will allow for some moist tropical air to come down into the Alice Springs district and we do expect a chance of rain and and some cloud cover this weekend, maybe even tomorrow," he said.
He says while the cool change tonight will bring some relief, the long-range forecast is for more high temperatures.
"Seventeen consecutive days above 40 will be a hard one to break," he said.
"January's the hottest month of the year at Alice Springs and February's usually just a little bit cooler, not significantly but about a degree and a half on average cooler than January is, so to break another hostile record of 17 days, I don't think that's going to happen."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Rivers down and cruises cancelled as Kakadu National Park swelters through one of its driest wet seasons on record
The World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is suffering through one of its driest wet seasons on record.
A powerful band of severe thunderstorms swept through Townsville on Monday evening, with rain rates in excess of 100mm per hour.
After a brief monsoonal burst of rain at the beginning of January for central parts of the Northern Territory, the Top End continues to miss out on the heavy falls.