Jan 24, 2019

Adelaide breaks its all-time heat record, hitting 46.6C, in extreme Australia heatwave

Adelaide SA
Australia
by
Naaman Zhou
,
the Guardian
People in Adelaide head to the beach to escape Thursday’s record-breaking Australia heatwave. Photo: Kelly Barnes, AAP
People in Adelaide head to the beach to escape Thursday’s record-breaking Australia heatwave. Photo: Kelly Barnes, AAP

Temperature records have tumbled across South Australia, with the city of Adelaide experiencing its hottest day on record, as the second heatwave in as many weeks hit southern parts of Australia.

Adelaide hit 46.6C on Thursday afternoon, the hottest temperature recording in any Australian state capital city since records began 80 years ago.

...

Last week, temperatures in Adelaide, home to 1.3 million people, hit 45C, sending homelessness shelters into a “code red”, and sparking fears of another mass fish death in the Menindee Lakes in the neighbouring state of New South Wales.

In central and western Australia, local authorities were forced to carry out an emergency animal cull, shooting 2,500 camels – and potentially a further hundred feral horses – who were dying of thirst.

On Thursday, 17 records were broken across South Australia, either of all-time temperatures or January records.

Sternhouse Bay (45.6C), Port Lincoln (47C), Minnipa (47.3), and Snowtown (47.3C) were among the hottest, with Snowtown beating its previous record by 1.3C.

...

Last week, a dozen heat records fell, with nine alone in NSW. The small NSW outpost of Noona, around 800km west of Sydney, recorded the country’s highest ever overnight minimum temperature of 35.9C.

The back-to-back heatwaves are part of a summer that the Bureau of Meteorology predicted as being hotter and drier than average, partially as a result of climate change.