Too hot for many Victorians. Photo: Rob GunstoneMelbourne’s heatwave has set more records as city dwellers endure temperatures more usually felt much further inland.
The mercury recently touched 30 degrees on the way to a forecast high of 36. It’s the first time Melbourne has had eight consecutive days of such heat outside summer, with only four stints over the previous 156 years of records.
“It’s a bit like Melbourne on the Murray,” said Rob Sharpe, a meteorologist with Weatherzone, noting that the city’s temperatures have been closer than usual to the heat of towns along the river and in the Mallee.
“The sea breezes have generally failed or been late most days.”
The sweltering conditions are likely to last until at least Wednesday morning when a cool change is expected to reach the city. The weather bureau is predicting 36 degrees on Tuesday and 33 on Wednesday.
If those forecasts are realised, Melbourne will have had 10 days of 32 degrees or warmer. The previous longest such run was seven days, back in February 1961.
The heat follows what has already been an exceptionally hot and dry summer over most of southern Australia.
Victoria had its driest summer since 1984/85, and there is little sign of rain in the cool change due to arrive of Wednesday. Nationally, it was the hottest summer since consistent records began in 1910.
Melbourne’s temperature reached 32.7 degrees a week ago and has been that warm or hotter each day since, Mr Sharpe said.
The irregular heat is shared to the south as well. Launceston on Sunday posted its sixth consecutive day of 30 degrees or warmer, already beating the previous longest run of such temperatures set in January 2006, Mr Sharpe said.
The city is likely to hit eight or nine such days in a row even as cooler conditions have kept temperatures much lower in southern parts of Tasmania, such as Hobart.
“It’s stunning,” Mr Sharpe said. “That heat is just not going anywhere.”
Even Sydney, where the temperatures have been milder, is in the middle of an unusually long warm spell. The city has had a week of daily maximums of 25 degrees or warmer, with at least another week of the same predicted – making it the third-longest such run in its recorded history.
Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.