Australian heat wave sears new colors onto maps

SYDNEY Wed Jan 9, 2013 4:01am EST

1 of 3. View from the Terra satellite shows fires burning in Tasmania in this NASA handout image dated January 6, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/NASA/Handout

Related Topics

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's record-breaking heatwave has sent temperatures soaring, melting road tar and setting off hundreds of wildfires - as well as searing new colors onto weather maps.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has added dark purple and magenta to its color-coded weather forecasting map to represent temperatures of 51 to 54 degrees Celsius (123.8 to 129.2 Fahrenheit), officials said.

Temperatures on the map were previously capped at 50 degrees Celsius, represented by the color black.

"In order to better understand what temperatures we might see ... we introduced two new colors," said Aaron Coutts-Smith, manager of climate services at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Forecast models have predicted a large area of temperatures of over 50 for next Monday, he added.

Australia's average maximum temperature has exceeded 39 degrees Celsius for a record-breaking seven consecutive days. The previous record of four consecutive days above that level was in 1973.

The hottest temperature recorded on Monday was in the South Australian outback town of Oodnadatta, where the mercury topped out at a scorching 48.2 degrees Celsius - forcing the local petrol station to stop selling fuel after it started vaporizing.

(Reporting By Thuy Ong, editing by Elaine Lies and Paul Tait)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (2)
CPFftw wrote:
No gloabal warming going on here nope it’s just a really hot day.

Jan 09, 2013 2:57am EST  --  Report as abuse
tougar wrote:
it’s not “global warming” any more, they’re calling it “climate change”

Jan 14, 2013 5:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.


California's historic drought

With reservoirs at record lows, California is in the midst of the worst drought in decades.  Slideshow