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Ben Domensino, 19 Sep 2023, 2:41 AM UTC

Gabo Island's first September 32C in over a century of records

Gabo Island's first September 32C in over a century of records

A small Victorian island that’s home to a lighthouse and more than a century of weather records is having its hottest September day in history.

Gabo Island is a small island located about 500 metres off the coast of the Croajingolong National Park in Victoria’s East Gippsland district. Its most well-known feature is Victoria’s only operating island lighthouse, which was built in the late-1800s using distinctive pink granite sourced from the island itself.

Another long-established feature on the island is its weather station, with Gabo Island boasting an impressive database of daily temperature records dating back to 1910.

This long weather history was drawn into the spotlight on Tuesday when a stream of dry northwesterly winds carried very hot continental air towards the island.

The temperature on Gabo Island rose to 32.1ºC just after 11am local time on Tuesday, before a wind change caused the temperature to drop sharply by midday. You can see this temperature drop on the graph below.

Image: Temperature profile at Gabo Island during the 24 hours ending at midday on Tuesday, September 19.

Gabo Island’s 32.1ºC on Tuesday was the first time in more than 110 years of records that the island has exceeded 32ºC in September. Its previous September record was 31.2ºC from September 23 in 2017.

Tuesday’s burst of exceptionally warm early-spring weather has also sent temperatures and fire danger ratings soaring in nearby southeastern NSW.

Merimbula had already climbed to 34.5ºC by 12:30pm, making this its hottest September day in records dating back to 1969. According to the NSW Rural Fire Service, this hot weather will combine with dry and windy conditions to cause catastrophic fire danger ratings in the Far South Coast region of NSW on Tuesday afternoon.

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