HOTTEST SUMMER ON RECORD! March 1, 2013Posted by wmmbb in Natural Environment.
The judgement is sources to the Bureau of Meteorology. So I suppose, allowing for the inevitable conspiracy theorists, I will take their word for it. Of course, now we are in Autumn, at least in terms of the calendar, the risk of bush fires is, if not over, reduced. Can there now be too much rain? All I know is that it was badly needed.
Different news sources are reporting the finding. So, there is some duplication. Nonetheless, it is a useful reference for next year.
Blair Trewin and Karl Braganza write in The Conversation:
Australia’s latest summer has been significant for weather and for climate. VIBE Audio
This summer hasn’t just felt hot. It’s been hot. In fact, the summer of 2012-13 is now the hottest on record. Average temperatures beat the record set in the summer of 1997-98, and daytime maximum temperatures knocked over the 1982-83 record. January 2013 has been the hottest month since records began in 1910.
A significant summer, for weather and climate
There is an old adage in meteorology and climatology circles, “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”. But what does this mean?
Essentially, climate is a statistical description of weather. It describes the average weather experienced over a period of time — over either a single location, or averaged over a large region. Climate also describes how variable the weather is around those averages.
Climate also describes trends — longer-term changes in weather that are distinct from the shorter-term variability.
When it comes to climate change, there is often confusion as to when one should consider a particular meteorological event to be “just weather” or something more significant in a climatological context.
In general, the individual weather and climate events that scientists consider most significant are those that are both at the extremes of — or beyond — our historical experience, and consistent with quantifiable trends.
In that context, the summer of 2012-13 has had it all.
As far as day-to-day weather goes, numerous individual locations in Australia set daytime records for extreme heat. As far as regional averages go, records were also set for the hottest daytime temperatures averaged over the whole of Australia.
Records were set for the duration of extreme heat at both individual locations, and for Australia as a whole. Birdsville experienced 31 successive days above 40°C and Alice Springs had 17.
When it comes to averages over time, January 2013 was the hottest month recorded in the entire observational record for Australia, stretching back to 1910 (the first year for which we can confidently estimate national temperatures).
And as of yesterday, a new record was added to the books. The summer of 2012-13 was Australia’s hottest on record. In fact, the entire six months — from September 2012 to February 2013 — were warmer than the previous high for that period, set in 2006-2007.
Average summer temperatures across Australia were 1.1°C above the 1961-1990 average, surpassing the previous record, set in 1997-98, by more than 0.1°C. Daytime maximum temperatures also set a record; they were 1.4°C above normal, and 0.2°C above the 1982-83 record.
And the most significant thing about all of these extremes is they fit with a well established trend in Australia — it’s getting hotter, and record heat is happening more often.
(I have not included the Disclaimer Notice. I accept the credibility of the authors and the publication at face value.)
Talking about broken records, here is a ABC report in January on the hottest day:
Beauty, now it has stopped raining, I will take the dogs out, and it can be expected that we will collect a quota of leaches, who appreciate wet and warm conditions. It is feeling a bit cooler.
- Australian summer breaks all the records (stuff.co.nz)
- 2012 brought wild weather, not more rain (news.smh.com.au)
- Off-The-Charts Heat Wave Brings Australia Its Hottest Average Temperature And New Map Colors For Temps Above 122°F! (thinkprogress.org)
- Australian bush fires: Extreme heatwave goes off the scale (guardian.co.uk)
- State swelters as Melbourne tops 40 (theage.com.au)