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Perth, Australia experienced a record-breaking heatwave in February with seven consecutive days reaching temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.
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Perth, Australia experienced a record-breaking heatwave in February with seven consecutive days reaching temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

On Monday, Perth experienced its seventh day of temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, setting a new record for the month of February. This heatwave in Western Australia resulted in the top 15 hottest places in the world being within the state’s borders within 24 hours.

Perth hit 42.3C on Monday afternoon, bringing the number of days above 40C this month to seven – well beyond the previous record of four days, set in February 2016. Geraldton exceeded predications, reaching a top of 47.7C in the early afternoon.

The state has endured intense heat for a period of three weeks, as the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) declared an extreme heat warning on Friday that has been extended until Wednesday. The western and northern regions of WA are experiencing the most severe impact.

Due to high temperatures, there are bushfire alerts in effect for the south-west coast of WA. As a precaution, Cervantes Primary School and Jurien Bay District High School will be closed on Monday due to the elevated risk of bushfires. According to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, there are currently no significant bushfires burning as of Monday morning.

According to Jess Lingard from the weather bureau, the people in the western region of the state have endured a lengthy and sweltering struggle.

According to her, the persistent heatwave has been caused by three west coast troughs that continuously bring hot and arid air. These consecutive troughs have been unable to shift eastward and allow for the usual cooling conditions.

Lingard explained that the troughs remained on the coast for almost a week, which is longer than usual. He compared it to a traffic jam in the atmosphere.

The temperature is projected to reach its highest point on Tuesday, with temperatures of 46C and 47C in the western region of the state. According to the weather bureau, agricultural regions inland from Perth will also experience temperatures above 45C.

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According to Lingard, the heatwaves are having a significant impact due to the non-stop high temperatures.

“It’s difficult. We’re experiencing extremely high nighttime temperatures – the body needs cooler nights in order to properly recover. These excessively warm nights create a challenging situation,” she stated.

According to her, the heatwaves in Australia are influenced by the El NiΓ±o weather pattern, climate change, and the Indian Ocean dipole. Climate experts state that a combination of factors, including record-breaking weather such as intense heat and heavy rainfall, has created a “perfect storm” in Australia.

According to meteorologist Ben Domensino from Weatherzone, Carnarvon, located near the westernmost point of mainland Australia, experienced a temperature of 49.9C on Sunday. This is the second highest temperature recorded in Australia during February and ties for the eighth highest temperature on record in the country.

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Carnarvon has surpassed its previous record by 2.1 degrees Celsius, which was set on January 20, 2015. On the same day, Shark Bay also broke its record when the temperature reached 49.8 degrees Celsius – a significant increase of 2.5 degrees.

According to Lingard, the location of Shark Bay, which is a peninsula surrounded by water, makes it remarkable that temperatures reached almost 50C. Typically, records are only surpassed by small increments, but in this case, the previous record was exceeded by 2.5C, which is truly impressive.

In February 1998, the hottest temperature ever documented in Australia was 50.5C in Mardie, WA. Lingard stated that on Sunday, the interior regions of the state likely reached temperatures above 50C, but the available data is restricted due to the placement of recording stations.

A complete prohibition of fires applies to a section of coastal Western Australia, spanning from the southern part of Margaret River to the northern part of Geraldton and extending inland to the east of Mount Palmer.

The Ord River area has been given a storm alert due to expected extreme weather in certain parts of the Kimberley.

Source: theguardian.com