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Ben Domensino, 06 Oct 2021, 9:57 AM UTC

Early-season heat not seen in Australia for 33 years

Early-season heat not seen in Australia for 33 years

Earlier this week, a weather station in Western Australia recorded a temperature that hasn't been seen in Australia this early in spring since Bob Hawke was Prime Minister.

Wyndham Airport, located in the northern Kimberely region of Western Australia, reached 43.7ºC on Tuesday afternoon. While this was only about 4ºC above average for an October day at Wyndham, it's almost as hot as it gets in Australia at this time of year.

Image: Observed maximum temperatures across Australia on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. Source: Bureau of Meteorology.

The last time anywhere in Australia got this hot this early in spring was back in 1988, when Bob Hawke was Prime Minister and Birdsville in Queensland hit 44.4ºC on October 4.

The news of this week's intense heat may come as a bit of surprise to most Australians, given large swathes of southeastern and southwestern Australia have been abnormally cool during the last few days.

The maps below show modelled temperature anomalies for Tuesday, October 5, highlighting the contrasting temperatures seen across Australia at the hottest part of the day. In Victoria, Melbourne only reached a top of 17.4ºC on Tuesday afternoon.

Image: Modelled temperature anomalies on Tuesday, October 5, from (top) and (bottom).

Earlier in the week, hot inland air flowing over eastern Queensland saw Brisbane reach 36.6ºC on Monday afternoon. This was hotter than any day the city had last summer.

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