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This hot spell is far from over

Date

Lisa Cox

Cooling off at Gelatissimo is Zariel Findlay-Steele,19, of Ainslie.

Cooling off at Gelatissimo is Zariel Findlay-Steele,19, of Ainslie. Photo: Melissa Adams

The last time Canberra endured five days in a row above 35 degrees, acid-washed jeans were in fashion and Bob Hawke was prime minister.

Forecasters say the territory will reach its longest stretch of hot weather since 1988 on Tuesday, with temperatures set to hit the high thirties for the fifth day running.

And the hot spell is far from over.

Apart from a brief ''cool change'' on Wednesday and Thursday, when the temperature will drop to the high twenties and low thirties, the heat is forecast to continue until the end of the week.

Many Canberrans headed to the coast or stayed indoors with the air-conditioning to escape the heat at the weekend.

But not everyone was so lucky, and Canberrans who had to work through the heatwave said it was a struggle - even those with comparatively cooler jobs.

''It's not actually very cold in here, but if you stand right next to the freezer it's pretty nice,'' said Zariel Findlay, second-in-charge at Gelatissimo Manuka.

''We've had four people working today so it's not been too stressful, but Friday was intense because we only had two of us.''

Central Coast firefighter Tim Farlow spent his weekend working as a fire official at possibly the hottest place in Canberra - the Summernats burnout track at Exhibition Park.

''It's been a struggle at times but Summernats and the crew have been good supplying water to us the whole time to keep us hydrated,'' he said.

''Whenever we've had a chance, we strip down out of our gear and have some respite in the shade with water.''

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a top temperature of 36 degrees for Monday.

Friday was 37 degrees, Saturday 40 degrees and Sunday reached 38.

Temperatures are expected to hit 38 degrees again on Tuesday, before dropping to 31 degrees on Wednesday and 29 on Thursday.

''In 2010 there were four days in a row over 35 degrees, 2009 there were four days in a row, but to get more than four days in a row we have to go back to 1988, when we had six in a row,'' meteorologist Deryn Griffiths said.

''The longest record of days in a row above 35 was 1947, when there were nine in a row.

''Let's hope we don't get that.''

Ms Griffiths said inland areas, such as the territory, had missed out on a cool change, which meant the heat was continually building.

''Tuesday's going to be a bad day,'' she said. ''It's going to be windy which is going to make it extra unpleasant and extra dangerous. It's really just the whole inland area has not had a cool change to flush it out,'' she said.

''There's just those couple of days [this week] where it's high twenties to low thirties, and then it's warm again by Friday. It's not all over yet.''

Some of the hottest areas in NSW at the weekend were in the far west and the southern half of the state, including Hay, which set a record at 48 on Saturday, Ivanhoe, which hit 45, and Wilcannia, which hit 47.6 on Sunday.

15 comments

  • "The last time Canberra endured five days in a row above 35 degrees ...Bob Hawke was prime minister."

    See what happens when the bloody socialists run the place?

    Commenter
    dhm60
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    January 07, 2013, 8:56AM
    • That global warming is responsible for the record breaking temperatures should now be understood by the least well informed given that extreme weather events like heat waves and super storms have become commonplace phenomena around the world.
      Heatwaves, rising sea levels, Arctic and Antarctic meltdowns, increasing sea surface temperatures and disappearing glaciers are all evidence that global temperatures are rising yet the liars and deniers still claim that nothing is changing an nothing needs to be done to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
      Although the minions of the fossil fuel industries like the Federal Opposition and the NSW government may insist that carbon dioxide emissions have nothing to do with global warming, their argument has no credibility and the evidence for a connection between rising temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide is beyond doubt.
      Temperatures are now more often above the long term average than below average, consistent evidence that temperatures are rising.
      For instance, a study published in Geophysical Research Letters in 2009, found that daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the prior decade across the continental United States. Much the same trend is apparent in Australia
      Winter rainfall totals in the southern parts of the country are steadily falling as the Hadley cells, the large scale atmospheric convection that carries warm dry air from the tropics into the subtropics expand under the effect of global warming, driving storm systems further south so that by the end of the century, the Murray Darling basin, our most important food producing region, will lose most of its productive capacity.
      So what is the answer?
      Simple. Stop digging up coal, drilling for oil and gas and quickly switch to renewables which, despite the lies of the deniers, can produce all the energy that we need.

      Commenter
      SteveB
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 9:54AM
      • And here was I thinking the normally very warm air blowing in from central Australia where its always really hot during summer combined with the lack of cloud cover was to blame for this weeks weather.
        Its always HOT during a normal aussie summer, thats why we are the driest continent on earth & have been for millions of years....now We just get taxed more for it.

        Commenter
        dusty
        Location
        blue sky days
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 11:22AM
      • So SteveB, what you're saying is, if we stop digging for coal, drilling for oil and gas, and take our chances on (what may or may not be less reliable/feasible) solar, wind and tidal energy, the heatwaves will stop. we will be saved from being flooded out by rising sea levels, and the Arctic ice cap will grow back, is that what you mean?

        Commenter
        Seeing through Juliar's lies
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 11:38AM
      • Perhaps to make the point a little clearer.
        It is the chance or likelihood of extreme conditions that are increasing so that while the weather may normally be hot during an Australian summer the maximum recorded temperatures and their frequency of occurrence is steadily growing with increasing carbon dioxide emissions.
        Records for rainfall and high temperatures worldwide also continue to be broken as the atmosphere heats up and the only cause that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny is the increasing concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the burning of coal oil and gas.
        Local weather is no guide to climate change however when large scale changes have been observed around the world, there is little room for doubt that there must be a common factor which is without any reasonable doubt, carbon dioxide emissions.
        Taxing emissions is only a start yet like increasing the cost of cigarettes, at least some reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels can be expected.
        By the way, millions of years ago Bourke was at the South Pole so that it only true that Central Australia has always been hot in more recent times.

        Commenter
        SteveB
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 12:20PM
      • The only "deniers" (love the way lefties have a name for anyone who disagrees with them) are the gullible idiots who can't admit that nothing has happened and the little Polar Bears still live on ice and it's hot here in Australia because it. is. summer!! Check the weather in China or the U.S. or Europe, guess what? It's cold there because it's winter. We were supposed to be under water by now remember? Nothing has happened! Weather is normal! Or are YOU in denial?

        Commenter
        WotTha?????
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 12:30PM
      • I'm with you dusty - i'm not denying global warming but really as soon as we get some hot weather everyone goes stupid and blames it on global warming and green house gases etc. Some of you may remember the days of our youth when we had no airconditioning and had to lie on the bathroom floor to get cool - last summer Canberra only got about two days of summer. (don't believe me, check it)

        I think Canberran's should embrace summer as we will soon be plunged back into the ice age for another 6-8 months.

        Commenter
        westy
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 12:48PM
      • Steve B - how did you get to work or wherever you are today? - how much green house gas are you emitting by using your computer today not to mention all your other normal every day activities? Just wondering. And where did you get that 'soap-box' from?

        Commenter
        westy
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 1:27PM
      • @WotTha? – Climate change is an argument about science, and the science is in – therefore, those who deny the science are ‘deniers’. It’s only a ‘left-right’ thing to the online cannon fodder of the right, so it’s understandable that you think anyone who trusts science is a ‘lefty’.

        Nothing has happened, eh? What, have you been living under a rock for the last couple of decades and miss all the evidence and all the science? Miss how the summers are getting progressively hotter, how extreme weather events are getting more extreme? Sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting, ‘Lalala,’ doesn’t make the problem go away.

        Commenter
        Mad Uncle Bruno
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 4:53PM
      • @’Seeing through Juliar’s lies’ – yes, that’s exactly what he’s saying. What he’s left unsaid (but which should be obvious to anyone who has critical thinking skills and who isn’t merely dishing out cheap, adolescent rhetorical shots) is that it will take time. It won’t happen overnight. Derrrr. If we act now, we might be able to do something for out children and grandchildren – but, since you think that only actions which serve our own immediate short-term interests are worth doing – to hell with them, hey?

        And about your nom de plume – seriously, mate? Seriously?

        Commenter
        Mad Uncle Bruno
        Date and time
        January 07, 2013, 5:01PM

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