Why is it so blazing hot in Australia right now?
AUSTRALIA’S summer is so abnormally hot right now that a slab of porterhouse steak could cook in a car parked in a shade.
In fact, the land down under’s heatwave is so extreme, it is reaching record-breaking temperatures of 50c in some parts. And according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), it is expected to blaze on for a few more weeks.
The intense heat is brought on by the delayed onset of monsoon rains in the north, and the lack of typical cool fronts spinning up from the Antarctic in the south have exacerbated the warmth, according to the BoM.
The high temperatures are taking an increasing toll on the country’s flora and fauna, CNN reported. More than a million dead fish have washed up on the banks of the Murray-Darling River Basin.
Colonies of bats and an estimated 23,000 spectacled flying foxes have also succumbed to the heat and dropping from trees.
In South Australia, the extreme heat is causing stone fruit, including peaches and nectarines, to cook from the inside out, according to ABC.
While a cool-down is expected, it will be shortlived.
“For pretty much most locations in the southern part of Australia, the heatwave is over,” The Guardian quoted BoM meteorologist Dean Narramore as saying. “But then we’ll start seeing the heat return at least in Adelaide as we move into Monday, back into the high 30s.”
The rest of South Australia is also headed up this week; into the mid-40s probably from around Tuesday, Narramore added.
The BoM provides timely updates of the heatwave, urging people to stay cool, check on loved ones, and follow advice from health authorities.
The past 4 days are in Australia's top 10 warmest days on record—and the trend looks like continuing today. The nights have been warm too, which is what defines #heatwave conditions https://t.co/u6dbfmKPk6 Stay cool, check on loved ones & follow advice from health authorities pic.twitter.com/8Qisw9m4LM
— Bureau of Meteorology, Australia (@BOM_au) January 16, 2019
The New South Wales government has released a health alert warning people to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, minimize physical activity and keep hydrated.
“Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat stress and heat stroke. It can also make underlying health conditions worse. People over 75, people with chronic medical conditions and people who live alone are particularly vulnerable,” the statement said.
“Signs of heat-related illness include dizziness, tiredness, irritability, thirst, fainting, muscle pains or cramps, headache, changes in skin color, rapid pulse, shallow breathing, vomiting, and confusion.”
If the sweltering heat can cook fruits from inside out, it can also do damage to the human body. So remember to drink lots of water, slap on heaps of sun protection, and stay indoors as much as possible.