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Extremely hot from north to south

Jess Miskelly, Sunday December 23, 2018 - 15:33 AEDT

Darwin has broken overnight heat records this month of December and on the other side of the country, after a fortnight of abnormally persistent storms and sticky, tropical-like conditions, southern NSW and the ACT are also forecast to experience record high temperatures later this week.

Darwin's 29.7 and 30 degree minima on the 11th and 12th of December respectively are both all-time records for minimum temperatures at any time of year since at least 1941. It's worth pointing out that even though Darwin is renowned for being hot, such consecutive records have a low probability of being explained solely by normal year to year variability.

The Darwin average minima so far this month is 27.9 degrees and on track as the highest monthly average minima for the city, with the next highest being 27.3 in 1985. With this week's forecast minima so far remaining above 26 degrees, it's likely this December will be one of the warmest months of minima on record.

Down south, the 37 degrees forecast for elevated Cooma on both Friday and Saturday this week would be the only time this has happened in December in over 100 years of records, and the first consecutive double 37+ degree day since early 2014. Canberra is forecasting 2 consecutive 38+ days over the same period, which has not happened in December since 1994. So even though it's summer, this forecast heat is abnormal.

Individually, the weather patterns responsible for the heat in the two areas are different - an as yet absent monsoon is certainly partly to blame for the tropical heat - but this built up heat will progressively be dragged southwards this week, bringing the hot temperatures for the country's interior and southeast. As yet, there is no clear endpoint discernible for the southern heatwave.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2018

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