Climate change preparation key as Canberra beats heatwave record

Friday 18 January 2019

Canberra has experienced its longest run of days above 40 degrees, with the temperature hitting 40.1 at 3.41pm on Friday afternoon, while experts say the city needs to quickly adapt to more extreme heat driven by climate change.

A cool change is expected to bring closer to average temperatures on Friday night or early on Saturday morning – but the capital still sweltered through four days at 40 degrees or above, the worst heatwave since January 1939.

Bureau of Meteorology Senior Climatologist Blair Trewin said the current heatwave was striking to people of his generation who grew up in Canberra and never experienced a day above 40 degrees.

Canberrans cooled off at the Dickson Pool during the heatwave this week.

Canberrans cooled off at the Dickson Pool during the heatwave this week.CREDIT:JAMILA TODERAS

For 25 years between 1973 and 1998, Canberra did not reach 40. There were nine days where temperatures reached 40 degrees between 1913 and 2006, but since 2007, Canberra has reached 40 degrees 16 times, including Friday.

Read the full Canberra Times article (by Jasper Lindell) including commentary by Prof Mark Howden on links between heatwaves and climate change.  

Updated:  23 August 2019/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Web Admin