'Like A Furnace': Australia's Hottest Town Has Its Hottest Day Ever
Excuse us for using the word "bloody", but it's bloody hot pretty much everywhere today. Bloody record-breaking heat.
There's one bloody town that's a lot bloody hotter than any other bloody place, and that's the town that bills itself as "Australia's hottest town", Marble Bar. It's in the Pilbara region of north-west Western Australia.
And it just got bloody hotter.
Today, the mining and services town with a population of 174 was forecast to reach 49 degrees. That would have equalled its hottest day ever and exceeded its hottest ever December day. (The local weather stats are here.)
It got to the all-time high, and beyond -- by 0.1 of a degree.
The high temperature occurred at 12:39 pm local time. At that stage, it appeared Marble Bar could crack 50 for the first time -- and perhaps even threaten the all-time Australian record of 50.7 in Oodnadatta, South Australia.
Before lunch in Marble Bar today, it was already 48 degrees. Made ya sweaty just thinking about it.
10 daily contacted The Travellers Rest roadhouse in Marble Bar at around 11am WA time today, when it was already 46 degrees in town.
Pauline answered the phone but she was too busy to chat so she passed the phone over to Joehanna Yuline, a 17-year-old customer who lives out of town on a station and was stocking up with supplies.
"Yeah, it feels like hottest day ever," she told us.
"It's just like a furnace, a fire."
Joehanna told us that locals cool off when they can at the Marble Bar pool or out at the local rivers which fill up in the wet season but which, as you might imagine, are starting to dry up pretty quickly.
But mostly, she said "we just cope with fans and whatever water we've got".
At 9am this morning, Marble Bar had already reached 44.2 degrees. You can see the town's location in the centre left of this Bureau of Meteorology MetEye graphic
By 10:30 am, it was 46. Yeeesh!
As we published this story at 3 pm AEDT and nearing midday WA time, Marble Bar was, as mentioned, already 48.
It was 48.3 at 12:30 pm local time. Nine minutes later, the record was broken. Highest December temperature. Highest annual temperature. Highest temperature full stop.
For the record, though Marble Bar bills itself as Australia's hottest town, the record technically belongs to Wyndham -- in the Kimberley region north of the Pilbara.
That's because Wyndham has a higher annual average maximum temperature of 36 rather than Marble Bar's positively frigid 35.5, due to the former town's tropical location.
Marble Bar has a slightly cooler winter than Wyndham, but its searing summer desert climate means it cops many, many more days of extreme heat than pretty much anywhere.
This day has been one of them.
Meanwhile, it was also bloody hot in eastern Australia, as the 2:30 pm MetEye showed clearly.
A burning question (excuse the pun): is this a climate change thing?
We'd answer that by saying that Marble Bar has always been hot. But we know that overall global temperatures have risen by a degree or so in the last century, so it's logical that more heat records than cool temperature will be broken.
Indeed, The Climate Council's Heatwaves report, published in 2014, showed that in the last decade, hot weather records have occurred three times more often than cold weather records.
That number is steadily rising, and we can chalk up another one today.