Crikey! Aussie city hits 121 degrees as Southern Hemisphere roasts
While we’ve been shivering up here, folks in the Southern Hemisphere have been baking in all-time record summertime heat.
Records have been set recently in Australia, Chile and Argentina, sparking wildfires and exacerbating droughts.
In Australia, the heat was so intense it caused bats to fall from trees and snakes to seek refuge in people’s toilets, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Capital Weather Gang.
Overall, it was the hottest January in Australia ever recorded, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reported. The heat waves there were “unprecedented in their scale and duration,” the bureau said.
One remarkable record was set in Port Augusta, Australia, which soared to 121 degrees. That’s the hottest temperature ever recorded at a coastal location in the Southern Hemisphere, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Bob Henson.
Late in the month, folks in Wanaaring endured Australia’s all-time hottest night, when the overnight temperature only dropped to 97.9 degrees.
The merciless heat has intensified droughts in several parts of Australia, the bureau said.
Across the Pacific, at the far southern tip South America, the tiny town of Porvenir, Chile, soared to 90.5 degrees earlier this week. This may have been the Earth’s most southerly 90-degree temperature on record. “Heat this high on the southern tip of South America is unprecedented,” wrote Guy Walton, an Atlanta meteorologist who tracks weather records.
The heat in Chile sparked a number of wildfires. The fires have killed two people and burned thousands of acres, AFP reported.
Elsewhere in South America, temperatures topped 100 degrees in Perito Morino in Argentina, a record high, the Capital Weather Gang said.
And despite the recent polar vortex invasion in the U.S., the global temperature in 2018 was the fourth-hottest on record, scientists said last week.
Overall, the past five years have been the five warmest years since records began in the late 1800s, both NOAA and NASA said.
Heat will continue to be the Earth’s major weather story in the future, as the globe warms due to human activity.