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Red Centre to get little respite from heat

By 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

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