Australia has matched its hottest ever recorded temperature, with parts of Western Australia scorching at over 50C on Thursday 13 January.
It’s the first time this century an Australian community has topped this temperature, with heat waves felt in WA’s north-west, according to Weatherzone.
In the town of Onslow temperatures hit 50.7C, matching the hottest day on Australian record, originally established in Oodnadatta, in South Australia in 1960.
Other regions in Western Australia felt temperatures of 50.5C, equal to the second hottest day ever recorded in the country.
The 50.5C reading was felt in Mardie and Roebourne, also in the state’s north-west, and is the hottest day recorded in 60 years.
The Pilbarra region in Western Australia is known as the country’s hottest region.
Senior Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said temperatures in the Pilbarra, dubbed Australia’s hottest region, are due to warmer than normal sea surface temperatures off WA’s northern coast. He added that global warming was also a likely factor.
“The Pilbara is well-known as Australia’s hottest region. The town of Marble Bar bills itself as Australia’s hottest town. Its average January maximum is 40.7C and it once went 160 days with max temps of 37.7C or higher,” Dutschke said.
He said the region is also sunnier than normal given the monsoon and cyclone has focused the cloud, rain on Australia’s northeast.
A slew of other WA towns were likely to have set temperature records for January or any time of the year.
Iron-ore export hub Karratha, also on WA’s north-west coast, reached 48.4C to exceed its previous high of 48.2C.
A severe weather warning had meanwhile been issued for people in parts of the far-north Kimberley region, including Kununurra and Wyndham.