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Australia Matches Hottest Day On Record With Scorching Temperature of 50.7 Degrees

by : Emily Brown on : 13 Jan 2022 15:05
Australia Matches Hottest Day On Record With Scorching Temperature of 50.7 DegreesAlamy

Australia has matched its hottest day on record as it recorded temperatures last reached more than 50 years ago. 

Scorching temperatures of 50.7°C were recorded in Onslow, Western Australia today, January 13, marking only the fourth time the country has passed the 50°C mark in Bureau of Meteorology data going back to 1910.

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The last time thermometers reached such a height in Australia was in the 1960s, with a reading of 50.7°C on January 2, 1960 going unmatched until today. Onslow’s previous record was 48.9°C, which was set in 2008, though local media reports the average temperature in the town at this time of year is 36.5°C.

The record could be broken altogether this week as temperatures are set to rise slightly tomorrow, with Luke Huntington from the Bureau of Meteorology explaining that a build-up of hot air in the region had been caused by a lack of thunderstorms.

Per ABC News, he explained: ‘The heat is fairly common especially when you don’t get that thunderstorm activity and the showers bringing the cooler temperatures.’

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Two other areas, Mardie and Roebourne, also reported temperatures of more than 50°C today as they both hit 50.5°C. It was the second time Mardie had reached such heights after previously reaching above 50°C on February 19, 1998.

The fourth time temperatures reached above 50°C was following the initial record setter on January 2, 1960, with temperatures reaching 50.3°C on January 3, 1960, according to The Guardian.

Residents in the boiling towns have described struggling to work in the hot conditions, as James Corea told ABC News that once the temperature reaches more than 45°C, it ‘feels like a million degrees’.

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Corea, who is based in Karratha and works as an electrical contractor, explained his team took regular drink breaks in a bid to tackle the heat as well as trying to organise jobs located in cooler environments.

He said: ‘[We] try and have some rest breaks in the shade. The problem is days like this it’s actually too hot in the shade so you need to get in the aircon or you start having heat exhaustion.’

Meanwhile, Roebourne officer in charge Mark Barratt said that temperatures were so hot his air conditioning unit stopped working, noting ‘things are starting to feel the stress that’s for sure.’

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The rocketing temperatures come after large bushfires burned in Western Australia last month, with one blaze forcing residents to evacuate as it scorched through more than 6,000 hectares of land.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: News, Australia, Climate Change, Now, western australia

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ABC News
  1. ABC News

    Onslow in the Pilbara reaches 50.7C, equalling Australia's hottest day on record