Summer heat baking central and northern AustraliaBrett Dutschke, Monday October 8, 2012 - 17:35 EDT
Central and northern Australia is experiencing summer-like heat early this year, the earliest in decades for some places.
A long run of sunny days has helped temperatures rise to the low 40s across much of the region, five to 10 degrees above average for this time of year.
Uluru reached 41 degrees on Monday afternoon, the hottest it has been in October in 10 years.
Other centres which experienced an unusually hot early spring day, were Thangool and Springsure in Queensland and Ernabella (Pukatja) in South Australia. This was Ernabella's hottest October day in nine years.
Not only is it unusually hot for October it is even more unusual this early in the season.
Uluru has not had a hotter day this early in spring in more than 20 years of records. Ernabella hasn't been this hot this early in more than 15 years.
It has been five years since Thangool has been this hot this early, for Springsure it has been three years.
The heat will contract to the northern tropics in the next few days as a cooler, gusty southerly change affects central Australia. This change will drop temperatures by 15-20 degrees.
© Weatherzone 2012
More breaking news
Thunderstorms are on the move through New South Wales and southern Queensland once again today, while southern states shiver.
The most widespread heat in five years could grip parts of southern and eastern Australia next week.
Parts of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia could be lashed by storms and damaging winds on Thursday as a cold front sweeps across Australia's southeast.