Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Heatwave round 3: climate diary of an Australian heat event


Welcome to my third daily diary of an Australian heatwave event. This heat event is marked by persistent heat from the Pilbara and Central Australia from mid December 2018 that sends out waves of heat to impact the south east population centres of Adelaide in South Australia, Melbourne and inland Victoria, western NSW spreading to include Canberra and Sydney.

Read my diary entries for the Christmas New Year heatwave: Climate Diary of an extreme heatwave across Australia and climate heat impacts, covering Dedcember 22 to January 6.

I followed this up with a second blog article documenting the heat event from January 14 - January 19: Take 2: Climate Diary of an Australian heatwave - January 2019
Heat Health alerts issued for Melbourne and Victoria
Over the weekend of 19-20 January the heat retreated to the Pilbara and Central Australia, but the heat event is far from dissipating. Heat Records continue to be broken.

Why am I documenting this? Because climate change is a primary driver of more extreme heat events. Read the Climate Council 2014 Report on Heatwaves: Hotter Longer, More often.


  • Monday 21 January 2019 - Perth feels the heat, Consecutive day heat records for Birdsville, Camooweal and Cloncurry, heat a killer to wild budgies, Consecutive day record for Newman in the Pilbara region, heat health and bushfire warnings for Victoria, Solar reducing heatwave power peak
  • Tuesday 22 January 2019 - Severe heat to hit Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Thursday a 'horror day' for South Australia
  • Wednesday 23 January 2019 - Ceduna sets an all time temperature record, Adelaide heat record could topple, It's not so much the heat spike as not being acclimatised which is the real killer, Victoria on blackout Watch due to unreliable coal power, Mean temps hot in Canberra, Melbourne Forecast Tmax lifted to 43C, Melbourne highest Tmin record in sight Thursday overnight
  • Thursday 24 January 2019 - Adelaide at 35C at 9am, but Port Pirie already exceeding 40C, extreme heat in South America, SA paramedics feeling the heat, SA code red alert for homeless people, Mount Gambier to sizzle, Heat impact on Shiraz, Where is Australia's Environment Minister?, Extreme Heat Policy applied at Australian Open tennis
  • Friday 25 January 2019 - Melbourne reaches 42.8, NSW overnight high minimum records broken, loadshedding required due to unreliable coal, Hobart airport hits 40C, Melbourne Airport 46C, Connecting the dots between heatwaves, climate change and politics, load shedding in Victoria due to coal failure, big batteries and solar trimming the peak, Australia leading the planet...in heatwave temperatures, Swan Hill heat record, NSW breaks Tmin records, 50 degree days are possible for Sydney and Melbourne, heat health should be a political issue.
  • Saturday 26 January 2019 - Heat Records fall in Victoria and NSW, Wide area of extreme heat on Friday, High minimum records fall, Young and Goulburn break records, Australia exporting our heatwaves to New Zealand, listen to climate scientists, South American heatwave in Chile and Argentina
  • Sunday 27 January 2019 - High minimum temperature record broken 4 times in a fortnight, South America heatwave, Santiago de Chile sets a new Tmax record of 38.3C, Mildura stats compared, Alice Springs cool change ends 16 day streak > 42C


Monday 21st January 2019

Extreme heat round 3...


"Now, Western Australia is kicking off a third round. This round looks to be more of a traditional setup. The last 2 have been drawn out, prolonged and relentless. This one looks to be of the traditional variety – starting in the West with Perth hitting 40.4ºc yesterday and 42.1ºc today. This heat should then track East across the remainder of WA tomorrow (Monday), then into SA on Tuesday through to Thursday and across South East AUS from about Wednesday or Thursday into the early weekend. This one is expected to bring more extremely hot temperatures to Inland areas where places like Birdsville, Ballera, North West NSW and Northern SA are expected to see several days once again in the Mid 40’s. This will likely continue to extend Birdsville’s current record streak of 9 consecutive days above 45ºc out to around 15 or 16 days in a row. Oodnadatta is only 1 day off breaking its record for number of 45ºc days in 1 Summer (tied on 13 with last year at the moment) – so thats likely to be broken too." - Higgins Storm Chasing: Heatwave #3 set to move across AUS this week!

Perth so far has missed most of the heat, but on the weekend of 20th and 21st January got a blast of 40 degree heat. That heat will move east over the coming week to blast the major east coast populations again. But most of the impacts will be felt over a wide area of inland Australia: from Western Australia, the lower Northern Territory, northern South Australia, western Queensland, western New South Wales and northern Victoria.



New consecutive day heat records for Birdsville, Camooweal and Cloncurry


Birdsville...



Even the wild budgies are finding the extreme heat a killer...


Newman in WA's Pilbara region sets a consecutive day heat record...


Heat Health alerts issued for Melbourne and Victoria...


Heat Health and bush fire warning...
Andrew Crisp, the Victorian state Emergency Commissioner @CommissionerEMV gives an overview of the elevated fire danger and reminds Victorians to stay safe in the heat and around water.



Extreme heat and heat health...


Solar moves and reduces the heatwave power peak...



Tuesday 22nd January 2019

Severe heat to hit Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney...




Adelaide warming up...


Record run of 40C days for Alice Springs...


South Australia extreme heat warning press conference...

"Thursday will be a horror day... with a sustained day of heat" warns South Australia Bureau of Meteorology chief.

Three days of extreme heat is expected across South Australia with high overnight temperatures with the worst expected on Thursday with most of the state in over 40 degree Celsius temperatures. A cool change in the early hours of Friday is expected.

This comes on the back of a heat event last week which saw 69 heat related presentations to SA hospitals, 31 heat related admissions.

John Nairn from the Bureau of Meteorology South Australia said that "Very likely we while be forecasting 45C" on Thursday" with records from Adelaide West terrace in 2009 of 45.7C, and in 1939 of 46.1C. "Those numbers are not far from being reached on Thursday"

We are on track to have the hottest summer on record.

"The south east is an area where the temperature range is not that high, and on the occasions when they experience much higher temperatures, the people down there aren't nearly acclimatised to those temperatures and also the built environment and the infrastructure that supports them has not been designed around those temperatures. Therefore we can expect they have some additional problems to deal with. That is the reason why unusually high temperatures for our location are challenging."




"Thursday will be a horror day"




Surfaces can be extremely hot - mind your feet and the paws of pets.


A farmers view...


Tasmania...



Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Ceduna sets an all time temperature record...


Adelaide heat record could topple...


majority of the SA population in the 40°C plus range today...


It's not so much the heat spike as not being acclimatised which is the real killer...

According to a University of Technology Sydney researcher, residents of Melbourne and Adelaide and to a lesser extent Perth, are more at risk of death during an extreme heatwave, than people in Sydney and Brisbane.

UTS researcher Dr Thomas Longden has found that people in Sydney and Brisbane were less likely to be caught out by an abrupt and extremely hot heatwave than people in Adelaide and Melbourne.

“While Sydney and Brisbane have hot summers, most of their summer days tend to be of a similar temperature and this assists people to acclimatise to the heat,” Dr Longden, from the UTS Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, said.

“In Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth however we have had extreme heatwave events with three day average temperatures spiking up to 12 degrees Celsius above the 30-day average. These events were rarer in Sydney and Brisbane during the period between 2001 and 2015.”

“These abnormal events are more likely to catch people out and means that they are unprepared for the extreme heat.”

In a study, published in Climatic Change - Measuring temperature-related mortality using endogenously determined thresholds - Dr Longden used data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Bureau of Meteorology to track daily temperature and mortality between 2001 and 2015.

He found the number of deaths during that period due to heatwaves was highest in Melbourne (with 1283 deaths recorded), followed by Sydney (768 deaths), Adelaide (549 deaths), Perth (532 deaths) and Brisbane (220 deaths).

On a per capita basis Adelaide was hardest hit, followed by Melbourne and Perth.

“These abnormal events are more likely to catch people out and means that they are unprepared for the extreme heat.” said Dr Thomas Longden in a UTS statement in August 2018.

Victoria on blackout Watch due to unreliable coal power...


Simply incredible scheduling maintenance during the hottest part of the year...






Mean temps hot in Canberra


First hand journalism from the back of Bourke...


Melbourne Forecast: The bad news: Friday's max temp forecast for #Melbourne is set to rise from 41°C to 43°C! The Good news, Thursday's max will drop from 38°C to 36°C says the Bureau of Meteorology in a tweet.

Weather update at 3pm:
45 degrees forecast for Adelaide on Thursday, 43 degrees for Melbourne on Friday, and 37 degrees for Hobart on Friday.

Thursday is looking like a horror day for Adelaide with a chance to challenge maximum temperature records. The highest record temperature for Adelaide (West Terrace) is 46.1C recorded on 12 Jan 1939, and highest Tmin is 33.2C on 10 Jan 1939. For Adelaide (Kent town) highest Tmax was 45.7C on 28 Jan 2009, and highest Tmin was 33.9C on 29 Jan 2009.

The overnight minimum temperature on Thursday night for Melbourne is forecast to be 29 degrees. The Tmin record for January at the closed Melbourne regional office station is 28.8 set on 21 Jan 1997, and the all time record is 30.5 set 01 Feb 1902. Many of the other stations around Melbourne have a current all time record Tmin of around 28.8C. The highest minimum temperature across Melbourne could very well have new records set on Thursday night.



How does this compare to Black Saturday?


Melbourne highest Tmin record in sight Thursday overnight...


Wine growers concerned...


Wild horse deaths at a dry waterhole in Central Australia...



Thursday 24 January 2019

Adelaide at 35C at 9am, but Port Pirie already exceeding 40C...




But at least we are in heat solidarity with South America...




AEMO juggling extreme power demands in the extreme heat...


In South Australia paramedics are feeling the heat with more heat health callouts...


South Australia: code red alert activated for homeless and vulnerable people in extreme heat...


Mount Gambier to sizzle in extreme heat...
43 degrees predicted, which is just two degrees shy of the city's record.


Research on Heat impact on shiraz grapes...


Two days and one heatwave and we lost one third of a species...



Guardian heatwave live blog...


South Australia...


Where is Australia's Environment Minister?
Cooling it off in the Otways it seems while the rest of Australia roasts.


Where is Australia's Health Minister addressing heat health issues during the heatwave?


Solar reducing energy peak...


Grid being thrown into chaos by unreliable coal...


Heat records smashed across Adelaide...
















Adelaide now the hottest capital in Australia...


SA Ambulance attending Heat health related calls...


Melbourne temperature hits 40C


Queensland: Camooweal and Cloncurry set 40 day 40C persistence of heat records...


Australia had hottest 15 on earth



Even the spiders and flies are retreating from evening heat...


Climate Council



Climate Council on heat records (far too many now)...


Bill Shorten is on the job as next Prime Minister (but still needs a nudge)...


Tasmania is burning...


Extreme heat policy applied at tennis Australian Open - Bill McKibben highlighted that play was suspended at the Australian Open tennis women's semi-final on Thursday.


"Extreme heat suspends play on Rod Laver Arena...With the temperature hitting 38 degrees Celsius, both Kvitova and Collins were forced to take a break in the first set when Australian Open tournament organisers enforced their extreme heat policy. The Rod Laver Arena roof was closed, while play on outside courts was suspended." Kvitova went on to win the match and head into the final reported ABC News: Petra Kvitova through to Australian Open final to play Naomi Osaka


Friday 25 January 2019

Melbourne 34C at 6am...




Weather Bureau 11am update...


The new normal?...


The Guardian: South Australia breaks temperature records as Port Augusta hits 49.5C – as it happened

Tassie feeling the heat...and bushfires...


Along with the heat comes fire weather in Tassie...


Hobart airport reaches 40.1C


Moonee Ponds: Connecting the dots between heatwaves, climate change and politics...


Waurn Ponds (Geelong) outside Sarah Henderson MP office...


and in Sandgate, Brisbane....


Melbourne reaches 42.8C, but even hotter in the northern suburbs...
Essendon airport 45.2C, Melbourne Airport 46C


Load shedding in Melbourne due to unreliable coal...








Big batteries proving their worth...


Solar trimming the peak...


While some blame renewables, it was the unreliability of ageing coal that triggered load shedding


Minister says coal failed during the heatwave...


Shadow climate Minister Mark Butler weighs in on replace ageing coal with firmed renewables...


Renew Economy: Grid held together by solar, load management, as coal fails in heat

Building standards need upgrading...


Australia leading the planet...in heatwave temperatures...


Swan Hill heat record for January falls...


NSW Highest Minimum temperature records broken...


Weather Bureau on a record breaking hot night for some...


50 degree days are possible for Sydney and Melbourne in not too distant future...
See also Climate Action Moreland: Study: 50 degree extreme heat days possible in Melbourne


Climate and heat health should be a political issue...




Saturday 26 January 2019

Heat Records fall in Victoria...


Wide area of extreme heat on Friday...


High minimum records fall in NSW...


and NSW Tmax records....


Moomba sets a new high Tmin...




some more NSW heat records for Young and Goulburn...


Australia now exporting our heatwaves to New Zealand...


More politicians need to listen to climate scientists and act on climate...


South America heat in Chile...




South America heat in Argentina...




Sunday 27 January 2019

High minimum temperature record broken 4 times in a fortnight...


Massive area of high minimum temperatures...


The stats for Mildura...


Cool change ends Alice Springs streak of 16 days > 42C



Meanwhile in Argentina...


Chile...




Santiago, Chile sets a new Tmax record of 38.3C...




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