Weather News

Record mid-year heat on Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Ben Domensino, Tuesday July 20, 2021 - 09:17 EST

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands have just set a new maximum temperature record for the second month in a row.

A weather station at the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport registered a maximum temperature of 30.6ºC on Sunday, July 18. This is the highest temperature ever recorded on the islands during July.

Image: Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Source: PalawanOz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The previous July record of 30.3ºC has happened four times since the weather station opened in 1952. These were in 2003, 2016 and twice in 2021.

This means the previous July record of 30.3ºC has already been matched or exceeded three times so far this month.

This is the second month in a row to set a new maximum temperature record on the islands, following 31.5ºC on June 10, which trumped the old monthly record by 0.6ºC.

Above average sea surface temperatures over the eastern Indian Ocean have contributed to the record-breaking warmth on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the last couple of months.

Image: Sea surface temperature anomalies around the Cocos (Keeling) Islands on July 18, 2021. Source: NOAA

This unusually warm water is part of a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) pattern that is taking shape to the northwest of Australia.

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