Extreme hot weather has engulfed much of Australia since the weekend in what has been four of its most sweltering days in history. All-time record highs have been set in some locations.The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) in Australia said Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday ranked among the top 10 hottest days on record for the country as whole.
Marble Bar in northwest Australia has experienced the hottest temperature since the weekend, topping out at 120.4 degrees Fahrenheit (49.1 degrees Celsius) on Sunday.
Not far behind is Tarcoola in South Australia which hit 120.2 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) on Tuesday. That is the hottest temperature in its history dating to 1903.
At least five other locations in southeast Australia set all-time record highs on Wednesday.
Canberra, the capital city of Australia, saw its high temperature rise to 104.2 degrees Fahrenheit (40.1 degrees Celsius) on Tuesday and 106.9 degrees Fahrenheit (41.6 degrees Celsius) Wednesday. The average January high in the city is 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).
Produce growers in South Australia are scrambling to pick fruit off trees in order to prevent heat damage.
ABC News also reported that heat stress caused bats to fall from trees in Adelaide. High temperatures in the city have ranged from 105 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit (41 to 42.3 degrees Celsius) since Monday, far above its average January high of about 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28.2 degrees Celsius).
New South Wales Health has warned the hot temperatures will contribute to high levels of ozone air pollution in the Sydney area. Temperatures in Sydney are running above average, but the hottest conditions are in areas west of the city.
Australia’s BOM is forecasting severe intensity heat wave conditions to continue in parts of southeast Australia Thursday through Saturday, including parts of New South Wales’ northern and eastern districts. The worst of the heat wave is expected to ease up elsewhere into the weekend.