Heatwaves in Australia

Heatwaves in Australia

Australia has a long history of heatwaves. The worst recorded heatwave was in 1939 when 438 people died. This heatwave affected South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
Heatwaves have accounted for more deaths in Australia than any other climatic event. Some of the worst heatwaves on record are below:

-January 1896 - 437 people died
-January 1908 - 246 people died
-February 1921 - 147 people died
-January 1927 - 130 people died
-January 1939 - 438 people died
-February 1959 - 105 people died
-January 1973 - 26 people died
-February 1981 - 15 people died
-February 1993 - 17 people died
-February 2004 – 12 people died.

It’s getting hot in here!

The highest temperature in Australia was 50.7°C at Oodnadatta in South Australia in 1960.
Marble Bar in Western Australia holds the record for the longest days in a row when the temperature was above 37.8°C for 160 days in 1923-24.
The hottest day in Sydney was set in 1939 when it got to 45.3°C.

Exceptional Australian Heat Wave

In early February 2009, residents of southeastern Australia were cringing at their weather forecasts, as predictions of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) meant that a blistering heat wave was continuing.

This map of Australia shows how the land surface temperature from January 25 to February 1 compared to the average mid-summer temperatures the continent experienced between 2000-2008. Places where temperatures were warmer than average are red, places experiencing near-normal temperatures are white, and places where temperatures were cooler than average are blue. The data were collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.

By: Marie Tan 10S01

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