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Record-Setting Heat Wave in Australia

By By Eric Leister, Meteorologist
January 09, 2014, 3:51:37 AM EST

A record-setting heat wave impacted much of Australia during the final week of 2013 and the first week of 2014.

The heat wave was a fitting end to 2013, which has been confirmed as the hottest year in Australia on record by the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.

Although this heat wave was not as long in duration as some notable heat waves of past years, many areas recorded their hottest day on record.


The heat increased across Western Australia late in December before moving into South Australia and eventually rose across parts of Queensland and New South Wales in early January.

The heat peaked across Queensland on Jan. 3, which became the hottest day on record in Queensland, according to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.

The heat wave also had deadly impacts on the wildlife of Queensland as reports indicate as many as 100,000 bats have died from the heat, according to the RSPCA.

The highest temperature that was reported during the heat wave was 49.3 degrees on Jan. 2 in Moomba, South Australia. This temperature fell just short of the heat experienced in January of 2013.

The Bureau of Meteorology also reported that 34 locations in Australia set all-time high temperature records between Dec. 30 and Jan. 4.

While the heat has relaxed across most of Australia, another round of sweltering weather is building once again across much of Western Australia and will reach Perth by the weekend.

High temperatures in Perth are expected to reach and perhaps exceed 40 C (104 F).

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