Australia’s Record-Breaking Temperatures Are Off the Charts—Literally!

“The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau’s model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees.”
—David Jones, head of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology climate monitoring and prediction unit

Australia is currently experiencing one of the worst heat waves it has ever had. The all-time record high temperature for the continent of 50.7 degrees was reached on January 2, 1960 at Oodnadatta Airport in South Australia. For the longest time there was never a need to consider a forecast beyond 50 degrees because temperatures never seemed to get higher than that.

Until now.

Recent temperatures have ranged between 40 and 48 degrees. On colour maps that puts their temperatures into the burnt orange and black range. But recent forecasts have suggested that temperatures might reach up to 54 degrees, smashing the old Oodnadatta record. One problem for forecasters is that they didn’t have a colour to show anything beyond 50 degrees.

Until now. Continue reading