Australia likes to think it’s got four proper seasons; what with your changing leaf colours and whatnot.
But realistically, we’ve only got two: Hot season, and A Bit Chilly season. And the calendar division of the pair is fairly simple: ANZAC Day to Grand Final Day. Between those two dates, it’s barbecue-in-storage conditions. Outside of that, it’s warm enough to grill. These are the rules of the land we live on; ones that all citizens ardently abide by.
To that end, a yarn about the weather being bullshit hot well into March isn’t anything terribly out of the ordinary; anyone who’s ever been outside knows the all-too-real sting of copping sunburn at Easter.
But even by Australian standards this is cause for concern.
Autumn may be “officially” under a week away, but don’t expect any Autumnal bursts of cool weather anytime soon.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the stifling, heatwave-like conditions that have battered multiple Australian capitals this summer to continue well into March.
For south-east Australia, March and May are both shaping up to be drier than average. And minimum temperatures are expected to exceed annual averages across the bulk of the country.
In fact, aside from Darwin, all capital cities in Australia are rocking a 65% chance of eclipsing the median maximum temperature for Autumn, meaning things are gonna be warmer much later in the year than we normally expect them to be.
The data from the blistering summer we’ve endured paints an even grimmer picture: The heatwaves we’re getting are more frequent, and more fierce, than we’ve ever seen recorded before. So sayeth the BoM:
“The periods between the waves of extreme heat also saw above average temperatures over large areas of east and south-east Australia. It was the consistency of high temperatures more than the extreme temperatures themselves that made early 2017 an exceptional event.”
“During these heatwaves, daily maximum temperatures across south-east Australia exceeded 40 degrees Celsius over very large areas and were typically 8 to 12C above the January and February averages.”
“The highest temperatures recorded during this period were 48.2 C at Tarcoola, SA, followed by 47.9C at Walgett, NSW; these are new February high temperature records at both these sites.”
“While the January 1939 south-east Australian heatwave remains one of the most significant in recorded history, the frequency of such intense large-scale heatwaves has increased across spring, summer and autumn, and especially over the last 20 years.”
The short answer to all of this? Maybe don’t pack away your short shorts just yet. It’s gonna be warm.
Source: ABC News.
Photo: Adult Swim/YouTube.