City Famous For Hot Air Setting Intense Heat Records This Summer

Usually when you hear talk of hot air in Canberra, it's in reference to the stuff coming out of Parliament House.

Canberra is not, in the popular imagination, a hot city.

It is bitterly cold with a brutal winter and a summer you never think about because you sort of forget the city exists while the politicians vanish over the holidays.

But Canberra typically has a hot, dry summer. And this summer, it's been hotter than ever before.

Some key points about this summer in Canberra so far:

  • So far this January, Canberra's average maximum of 32 degrees is four degrees above the usual 28.
  • So far this January, Canberra's average minimum of 16.4 degrees is 3.2 degrees above the usual 13.2.
  • Over the Christmas/New Year period, Canberra endured a record 11-day run of temperatures above 34 degrees.
  • And this week, for just the second time ever, Canberra is forecast to have three days in a row over 40.

A word about that last stat.

40 degrees won't sound too unbearable for those suffering through temperatures of 45+ in much of inland Australia this week -- which you can clearly see in this MetEye image taken at 4:20 pm on Monday.

Image: Bureau of Meteorology

But Canberra is 600m above sea level, which means it's cooler both by day and by night than most parts of Australia.

So while it's not as hot in raw terms as cities like Adelaide -- which reached 42 on Tuesday -- Canberra has been very hot in relative terms. In fact it's the only major Australian city setting numerous heat records so far this summer.

  • As we publish this story, we've just had confirmation that Canberra reached 40 on Tuesday.
  • That means, if the forecast of 41, 41 and 40 over the next three days holds up, it'll be the first time EVER Canberra has gone four days in a row with a max temp of 40+.

At least the locals are keeping their sense of humour.

10 daily contacted Anita Pyne from the Bureau of Meteorology, who confirmed that Canberra could eclipse numerous heat records this week.

She also said that while you cannot attribute a single event (like this week's heatwave) to climate change, you can say that such events will "increase in frequency".

"We're going to see more we'll see worse," Pyne said.

READ MORE: When Beaches Burn: The Hottest Coastal Towns In Australia

READ MORE: In This Week's Heatwave, One Aussie Suburb Will Sizzle Like No Other

Meanwhile, some of the other extremes around the country today include 48.5 at Port Augusta in South Australia and 47.2 at Hay in NSW.

And as for WA. Ugh, don't even ask.