Australia 40 degrees in April: Why this autumn has felt more like summer
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The southern states of Australia have been experiencing unseasonably hot weather this autumn.
Instead of enjoying a cool change after a harsh summer, in the first two months of autumn we have seen
"I would bet my house on it, that there's a climate change signal in this most recent heatwave," University of New South Wales climate scientist Sarah Perkins–Kirkpatrick said.
Dr Perkins–Kirkpatrick has not hedged her bets on what she believes is influencing March and April's record-breaking
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"There's no other way of slicing and dicing or sugar–coating it.
"We've seen quite a significant increase in heatwave frequency, particularly in southern Australia."
Dozens of records broken
Last month Australia recorded temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius in late March for the first time in history.
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Sydney, Adelaide and many other locations had their hottest or equal–hottest April days on record, as did the states of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.
Bushfires have raged across the outskirts of Sydney, country Victoria, and in Tathra on the far south coast of NSW, weeks after the end of the usual fire season.
In a special climate statement, senior climatologist Blair Trewin from the Bureau of Meteorology said the conditions have been more like
"A lot of those averages for the first 10 days of April were reasonably close to, or even slightly above January averages," Dr Trewin said.
The autumn heatwave was exceptional not only in extremes of
Almost the entire continent had maximum temperatures above average on most of the first 10 days of April.
Winter arrives early in Canberra, snow falls at ski fields
Snow thrills holidaymakers at the ski fields, while Canberra shivers through a weekend cold snap.The ski fields also got a healthy dusting of snow, with 10cm falling at Perisher overnight on Saturday as the temperature dropped to minus 1, while 5cm of snow coated the ground at Thredbo.
Heatwave started in the desert
The Pilbara in
Then at the start of April, a
In an ordinary heatwave, the passing front would bring cooler temperatures and end the event.
But instead, temperatures started building up in WA again in early April before a new front sent a second blast of hot, west Australian air across southern Australia.
On April 9, temperatures reached 35 degrees in the Sydney region. This was the latest date
On April 11, the heat shifted south, breaking records in almost a third of Victorian locations, smashing the Victorian state temperature record by one and a half degrees.
"When you're breaking a record over a whole state by that sort of margin, that's a significant event," Dr Trewin said.
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Dr Trewin, who has an uncanny memory for weather, said this heatwave resembles one in April 1986, which he remembers because it was the day of his school cross country race.
"I remember one of the race winners finished in a state not too dissimilar to the Scottish guy in the [Commonwealth Games] marathon this weekend."
Dr Trewin said this April heatwave was both hotter and farther reaching than the 1986 event.
Heatwaves becoming more common outside summer
Dr Perkins–Kirkpatrick says Australia is seeing more heatwaves in the cooler months.
"Extreme temperature events in the shoulder seasons are actually warming faster than extreme temperature events in summer," she said.
"And April's heatwave fits exactly with that trend."
Dr Trewin agrees, pointing out that spring heatwaves are increasing faster than events in autumn.
"In the past five years, we've seen two particularly significant heatwaves in September in 2013 and 2017," Dr Trewin said.
"We've seen a major one in October 2015.
"We haven't seen quite the same clustering in autumn."
Both Dr Trewin and Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said this year's autumn heatwave is consistent with climate change.
"The influence of climate change is that it shifts beyond," Dr Trewin said.
"So that the types of events you might have seen once in 50 or 100 years in the climate of the mid 20th century, you might see once in 5 years or once in 10 years in what we have now."
Bradley Cooper on His Secret Pact With Lady Gaga for ‘A Star is Born’ .
When first-time director Bradley Cooper was shooting his forthcoming remake of “A Star in Born,” his co-star, Lady Gaga (aka Stefani Germanotta), made a deal with him. “She said right from the beginning that there would be a bargain,” Cooper recalled at a public talk at the Tribeca Film Festival with Robert De Niro. He recalled that Gaga told him, “‘I’m gonna rely on you to get a performance that’s honest out of me’ — because she’d never done a film before — ‘and I ‘m gonna make sure that you’re going to turn into a musician. Because we’re going to sing everything live.
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