Australia So Hot They’ve Run Out Of Colours To Use On Heat Map

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 19 Dec 2019 10:24
Australia So Hot They've Run Out Of Colours To Use On Heat MapAustralian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

Temperatures in Australia have broken records this week, peaking at an insane 41.9°C – and it’s so hot they’ve run out of colours to use on their heat maps. 

The record, held since January 2013, was initially broken on Tuesday, December 17, but was topped once again yesterday, December 18, for the second day running.


A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales amid fears the record breaking heatwave will exacerbate the state’s bushfire crisis. In New South Wales alone, fire services are currently battling around 100 bushfires.

New South Wales FirePA

Following the state of emergency being declared by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Rural Fire Service now have the power to direct any government agency to halt operations, control government resources and shut down utilities such as electricity and water.

Much like the tumbling temperature records, this is the second time in a month a state of emergency has been declared in NSW – the last one being declared in October 2013.


Adding to the concerns, Australia’s bushfire season is typically in March/April time, meaning Australians may be enduring the fires for quite some time.

Average temperatures were confirmed by the Bureau of Meteorology at 41.9 degrees Celsius across the country.

The record for the hottest individual December day at any location was also broken on Thursday, December 18, with Eucla, in south-east Western Australia hit an outrageous 49.8 degrees Celsius. The Nullarbor came in second place at 49.7 degrees Celsius.


Both temperatures surpass the previous December record held since 1972 by Birdsville, Queensland.

Dr Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the bureau, told Guardian Australia:

Clearly we have background warming that has impacted Australia.

The frequency we are setting high temperature records greatly exceeds the setting of cold records.

It is clearr that climate change has contributed to setting records of this type.

According to the Met Office, today, December 19, Sydney will be a comfortable 23°C, while Adelaide is predicted to hit a whopping 43°C.


The devastating fires have been broadcast across the globe, with one story in particular going viral. Capturing the hearts of people all over the world, a grandma called Toni literally took the shirt off her own back to save an injured koala from the overwhelming bushfires.

Woman Saves Scorched And Screaming Koala With Shirt Off Her Own BackCBS Evening News

The rescued bear came to be known as Lewis. However, despite her best efforts, as well as the hard work from the team at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Lewis the koala bear sadly passed away from his injuries.

Temperatures are expected to exceed 45°C in NSW, Victoria and South Australia this week so we could see the record broken yet again as the Bureau takes around 700 observations from weather stations across the country in order to get accurate national averages.


Heatwaves are Australia’s deadliest natural disaster and have killed thousands more people than bushfires or floods.

A state-wide ‘total fire ban’ has been put in place across NSW until midnight on Saturday, December 21.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Australia, Australian Bushfires, Heatwave, weather


The Guardian and 2 others
  1. The Guardian

    Koala factcheck: have the Australian bushfires put survival of the species at stake?

  2. BBC News

    Australia heatwave: All-time temperature record broken again

  3. Met Office